The housing sector kicked off the fall season on firm footing. Home prices rose 6.4 percent in September 2015 compared to September 2014, according to CoreLogic’s Home Price Index Report. Sales of existing homes rose 4.7 percent in September from August, and they were also up nearly 9 percent from September of last year. And, even though September New Home Sales declined, sales are still strong compared to a year ago.
The “Know Before You Owe” rule, championed by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), officially went into effect October 3. The rule requires specific timeframes for consumers to receive and review their Loan Estimate and Closing Disclosures, and provides streamlined forms explaining monthly payments, costs of getting a mortgage, the costs to close the loan and other information about the loan. While the rule is good for homebuyers, any changes during the home loan process due to inspections, contingencies or final walk-throughs could delay closing to meet timing requirements.
In other news, the Fed cited weak job creation in September and other disappointing economic data as continued reasons to leave the Federal Funds Rate unchanged. This rate is what banks use to lend money to each other overnight. When the Fed Funds Rate increases, home loan rates could also increase, depending on market conditions and the overall economy.
The Fed will be keeping a close eye on economic data in the coming weeks, looking for clear signs of sustainable growth across our economy. These domestic indicators and any news of instability overseas will play key factors in whether the Fed decides to raise the Fed Funds Rate at its December meeting, or wait until next year.
The important takeaway is that home loan rates remain near historic lows, creating great opportunities in the market. If you or anyone you know has questions regarding refinancing or wants to get ahead of home-buying competition with a loan pre-approval, please get in touch today.