With the new year comes predictions for the housing market and mortgage rates. Any changes in the economy and votes on Capitol Hill can have an impact on real estate, but for now, analysts tell us there are a few trends to watch for.
Ellie Mae keeps track of how long it takes to close on a mortgage, and last year, the time grew shorter. Faster access to funds is almost a requirement in the 21st century, and digital mortgage applications are making that easier to achieve, according to analysts at Fiserv.
When it comes to applying for a mortgage, technology is the key to speeding up the process. Lenders benefit too because less paper means more electronic data, which provides more information about the borrowers that can be identified and processed faster. Even better, imagine a mortgage closing where the home buyers don’t have to sit in a room at the bank signing a deep pile of papers. We’re moving closer to that in 2018.
As for mortgage rates in the coming year, most experts do predict a rise. The current average rate for a 30-year fixed rate is 4.1%. Freddie Mac anticipates a gradual increase to about 4.6% before the end of 2018.
What about housing prices? There continues to be a supply and demand issue like we’ve discussed before — fewer homes for sale means higher prices for homes that are on the market. The National Realtors Association predicts home prices will rise about 5.5 percent in 2018. And economists at Realtor.com say housing inventory will grow higher by fall, but you don’t have to wait.
Builders like ours are working every day to meet the needs of buyers seeking their dream homes. If you’re looking for a new home, don’t forget about new construction. Interested in seeing what we’re building throughout southern New Hampshire? Schedule a model home tour!