Mortgage Rates Decided to Get a Bit Cheeky—But Fear Not, Next Week Might Bring Some Homebuying Sunshine

Mortgage Rates Stage a Mini Rebellion

Well, well, well, folks. After enjoying a couple of weeks of mortgage rate declines, the numbers decided to do a little upward dance this week. The 30-year fixed-rate loans, as per Freddie Mac’s report ending on Sept. 14, decided to settle at an average of 7.18%. Oh, aren’t they feeling feisty?

But hold your horses, because there’s a glimmer of hope just around the corner. The Federal Reserve, our financial wizards in action, are gearing up for a meeting on Tuesday and Wednesday. They’re going to decide whether they want to crank up those benchmark rates, all in the name of battling the mighty inflation dragon.

Inflation Worries Galore

Inflation, you sly devil. A U.S. Department of Labor report, hot off the press, announced that the producer price index had a little growth spurt in August—0.7% to be exact. That’s higher than July’s 0.4%, in case you’re keeping track. But wait, don’t let your hearts sink just yet, because some market experts out there are saying, “Nah, the Fed’s not going to mess with rates next week.”

Eric Karwowski, CEO and Broker of id8 real estate, has a comforting take on this. He says, “As both core inflation and employment have shown signs of cooling, markets expect the Fed to hold rates steady in next week’s meeting as the committee aims to ease the economy into health without overshooting.” Fancy that!

The Potential Good News for Homebuyers

So, if the Fed decides to keep its hands off the rates next week, this might actually be great news for all you home-hunting warriors out there.

Karwowski throws in some optimism, saying, “Should incoming data continue to fall in line with market expectations, the housing market can look forward to stability, allowing buyers and sellers to plan for the future more effectively.” Stability, my friends, is the name of the game.

As we embark on the fall home buying season, we’re here to decode the latest real estate stats in our thrilling episode of “How’s the Housing Market This Week?”

Home Affordability’s Got Jokes

Besides all this rate and Fed drama, autumn usually rolls in as a delightful season for homebuyers. “Though today’s housing market is decidedly challenging, the fall typically ushers in more favorable buying conditions relative to the rest of the year,” chuckles Karwowski.

But alas, the joke’s on us, because those buyer-friendly conditions are taking their sweet time, especially in the affordability department. In August, home prices decided to chill at a median of $435,000 (not in the bay area that is). That’s a mere 0.7% below what they were last August. Talk about staying consistent!

“As the summer begins its transition to fall, prices have settled below the year’s peak but continue to hover around last year’s level,” mentions Karwowski.

And for the week ending Sept. 9, median list prices went up by 0.6% compared to last year. Why, you ask? Well, there’s a simple answer—there just aren’t enough homes to go around. Which by the way causes rental rates to sky rocket!

Where Did All the Houses Go?

It’s a real mystery, folks! Active inventory decided to take a little siesta for the week ending Sept. 9. Buyers eagerly searching for new listings found themselves with 7.1% fewer options compared to a year ago. The same goes for the overall inventory of both new and old listings, which dipped by 5.1%.

You guessed it—those pesky high mortgage rates are to blame. Sellers seem to be in a bit of a bind, happily attached to their current lower-rate mortgages and their homes by extension.

But hold onto your hats, because some daring buyers are exploring the world of new-construction homes. Builders are feeling generous and offering concessions like lower interest rates. Isn’t that a twist?

The Perfect Week to Buy?

Listen up, savvy buyers! For those few brave souls willing to list their homes, they’re facing a market that’s moving slower than molasses. And guess what? That’s an opportunity knocking on your door.

“As the summer’s busy market slows, buyers may see less competition and relatively more homes than in the last few months,” says Karwowski. “Active inventory continues to lag last year’s level, but is improving.” Slow and steady wins the race, right?

Our economic geniuses 😱 at have identified a golden week for buying a home in 2023: Oct. 1–7. Historical data tells us you can save a whopping $15,000 on median home prices during this magical week. That’s up to 18.9% more new listings compared to the start of the year! Time to sharpen those negotiation skills.

And as for selling, well, homes are expected to fly off the shelves faster than you can say “real estate” as we leave the 2022 housing slowdown period in the dust. Get ready, folks.. it’s about to get interesting out there!


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