Agent attitudes, rate reasoning & daunting debt



Homes are staying on the market a tad longer according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). NAR’s Realtor Confidence Index Survey shows that listings were on the market for an average of 33 days in October, up from 29 days the previous month. Responding Realtors® cited “interest rate” and “low inventory” as the major issues affecting transactions in October.


Though mortgage interest rates have trended upward most of this year, recent stock market volatility has presented prospective home buyers with an early holiday gift. Rates for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage receded .06% for the week ending December 6 according to Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey (PMMS). The PMMS has tracked U.S. mortgage interest rates since 1971.


The Federal Reserve is fulfilling expectations and will likely raise rates again when the Board of Governors meets next week, but that doesn’t mean mortgage interest rates will follow suit. Freddie Mac Chief Economist Sam Khater reminds the public that the Fed funds rate and other oft-mentioned indicators such as the stock market aren’t the true drivers of mortgage rate activity, saying, “When stock prices drop, it causes a flight to safety and Treasury bonds. In the short term, this is good for consumers.” The next meeting of the Federal Reserve Board was rescheduled from December 5 due to the declaration of a national day of mourning for former president George H.W. Bush.


NerdWallet released its 2018 American Household Credit Card Debt Study and it shows big numbers. U.S. consumers with mortgages owe an average of $184,417 nationwide. Average student loan debt is $47,671, while Americans with credit card debt carry an average balance of $6,929.

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