We simply cannot believe we are more than half way through 2018! Having said that, now is a good time to take a quick look at the markets that most often impact homeowners and home buyers.
First, you have housing prices. Housing prices started the year higher and have continued to climb in most areas, although they are typically increasing at a somewhat slower pace than 2017. Prices have likely been driven upward by low inventory, high demand, and labor shortages for new construction.
Next, you have mortgage rates. Rates have been rising throughout the year; however, they have stabilized mid-year and are still very low by any historical measure and still aiding affordability. Tariffs and talks of trade wars have caused rates to face an uncertain direction in the future. It is important to note that the Federal Reserve Board (commonly known as The Fed) has bumped up policy rates three times since last summer, with two more increases predicted throughout the remainder of the year. Policy rates do not directly influence mortgage rates; however, mortgage rates typically follow overall rate trends over time.
Overall, good opportunities still exist for homeowners and buyers. Rates are still historically low and the combination of increasing values and low inventory creates a strong market for sellers. Refinancing opportunities are still available for owners who want to eliminate PMI or access equity for home improvements.