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Is Now the Time to Buy or Refinance?

Is Now the Time to Buy or Refinance?


Thursday, April 29, 2021/Categories: Bank News, Saving & Planning

This Spring and Summer could be critical moments for the housing market. Already, mortgage rates are beginning to creep back up.

With more and more Americans getting vaccinated, and hot Summer weather right around the corner, the economy is just starting to heat up as well. The more we recover and the faster the economy grows, mortgage rates will most likely rise quicker and quicker as well, so now may be your best chance to lock in a lower rate.

If you are a current or potential homeowner trying to figure out if now is the right time to refinance your mortgage or make a purchase, here are some key factors you should keep in mind as the state of the market becomes more and more clear.

Unemployment Rate

As more and more people return to work out of the pandemic, mortgage rates could be driven up by the recovering economy. Looking at last month, the unemployment rate has been forecasted to be 6% for the month of March, but a lower rate could mean bad news for the housing market.

Inflation Rate

While inflation rates were lower for the month of February, economists are expecting higher numbers in March and in the following months, which could hurt your future rates.

Retail Sales

More people working and fewer in-person restrictions for businesses will very likely lead to a spike in retail sales, which typically translates to higher mortgage rates.

GDP Growth

All of these factors are good indicators of the economy’s recovery, but the Gross Domestic Product (GDP; released quarterly) will provide a clear-cut picture of where the economy (and those rates) are headed.

It’s somewhat bittersweet that as our economy recovers from COVID-19, mortgage rates go higher and make it harder for people to get involved in the housing market. However, the state of things isn’t all bad.

While our economy is certainly on the uptick and it’s a pretty safe bet to assume that mortgage rates will rise, they may not rise all that quickly. Even pessimistic economic forecasters still expect rates to stay in the mid 3% range for the bulk of 2021.

So, while now is certainly a good time to look at refinancing or taking out a mortgage to purchase a home, your window to invest isn’t necessarily too narrow. If you’re among the millions of Americans getting back on their financial feet, you don’t have to worry about the housing markets. Stay on course and focus on the recovery of your own finances, and you’ll very likely still have access to low rates when that time comes.

Trying to figure out the opportune time to get involved in the housing market can be tricky, but thankfully that’s not a route you have to navigate alone. Financial advisors and lending experts can work with you and help to plot a financial course for the housing market that makes the most sense for your needs.