The world is in a fragile and uncertain place at the moment.
Along with many other things, mortgage rates have been affected by the economy’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Mortgage rate levels in 2021 will continue to be influenced by the coronavirus, but other influences will affect mortgage rates this year. Read on to find out more.
When you have a mortgage, it is the interest rate rather than the loan amount that will affect you the most. The interest rate charged by mortgage lenders massively affects how much you end up paying back over the duration of the loan. Quite simply, the higher the rate of interest on a mortgage, the higher the amount you need to pay each month. Mortgage rates significantly affect the buying and selling decisions of property owners, so you need to learn more about mortgage rates to have a good understanding and adjust your selling or buying strategies accordingly.
Knowing when mortgage rates may begin to rise and by how much is more difficult to predict this year than others. The rate is dependent on several factors, but it is the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdowns’ effects on the economy that is the big thing causing the uncertainty in 2021. Other factors that will affect the rate include inflation and decisions made by the Federal Reserve. Regardless of how things pan out, it seems very unlikely that mortgage rates will rise as much as 4%. Housing agencies across the United States are predicting rates in the high twos and low threes for 2021. Here is the current thirty-year rate prediction, as of January 2021, from some of the leading nationwide housing agencies:
According to the deputy chief economist with Freddie Mac, Len Kiefer, low mortgage rates will continue throughout 2021. But he also thinks the rates might bounce around a bit and result in a higher rate by the end of the year. That is because mortgage rates are tied to the wider economy. Therefore, what happens with the pandemic and lockdowns will have a significant impact on where rates end up. Quite simply, if the economy starts to go up, so will mortgage interest rates.
Logan Mohtashami, a housing data analyst from HousingWire, makes the point that the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdowns caused bond yields to become lower than they would become in a typical recession. Seeing as mortgage rates are tied to bond prices, if the US government starts flooding the market with bonds in 2021, the prices of bonds could go down due to supply and demand. Interest rates have to rise to ensure investors keep buying bonds.
The fact that the Democrats have taken the majority control of Congress could also make a difference to bonds and mortgage rates. Investors are predicting the Democrat-controlled Congress will pass stimulus and other spending measures more easily than during the Trump era. While it may seem good that stimulus efforts and other governmental programs will lift the economy, a better economy can lead to inflation. And inflation is very bad news for mortgage rates. Furthermore, the government could end the rate-reducing programs it implemented in response to Covid-19 and the lockdowns if the economy starts recovering faster than expected.