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Equity Now In The News - 2018





3 Months, 3 Housing Trends: Fast Buyers, Higher Rates, Tapping Equity




July 4, 2018

July 3, 2018



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Homebuying will remain competitive from July through September, with the edge going to buyers who act fast. And as mortgage rates rise, some homeowners will feel compelled to tap their equity rather than refinance or sell. Here are three housing and mortgage trends to watch for as summer 2018 slides into fall:

  • Home sales will slacken in the third quarter, creating an opening for assertive home buyers.

  • After rising through the first half of the year, mortgage rates could keep pushing upward — or plateau.

  • The rise in mortgage rates will keep some homes off the market, fueling demand for home equity lines of credit.

Home buyers should seize opportunity

In a typical year, home sales peak in June and then decline in the third quarter. But plenty of homes remain on the market from July through September. Competition among buyers is about the same and maybe even ratcheted down a little.

If you prioritize homebuying over vacationing this summer, Terri Robinson’s advice is to move fast. Robinson, a real estate agent in Ashburn, Virginia, says the competitive edge goes to buyers who don’t put things off. If a desirable property goes up for sale at the beginning of the week, don’t expect it to still be on the market Saturday.

“Always be ready to dash and go and see it,” Robinson says.

And it helps to know how much home you can afford.


Stephanie Fix, an agent in the hot Denver-area market, describes how buyers can improve their chances:

  • Get preapproved for a mortgage.

  • Make the biggest down payment possible, even if it’s not 20%.

  • Hire an experienced agent who’s plugged in to the network with other local agents, which is important when looking for suitable homes and when negotiating.

  • Use a mortgage broker who takes time to answer questions.


First-timers can educate themselves about state first-time home buyer programs designed for them. On top of specialized state programs, the Federal Housing Administration and the Department of Veterans Affairs offer FHA loans and VA loans, which are popular among first-time home buyers for their flexible terms and competitive rates.

» MORE: Best lenders for first-time home buyers

Mortgage rates trend upward

Mortgage rates have gone up this year, and some observers predict that they’ll keep rising in the third quarter.


The average rate on the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage climbed more than half a percentage point in the first six months of 2018, finishing June at 4.72%. Few, if any, people in the industry expect mortgage rates to fall, but they’re split about whether rates will keep rising or stay where they are.

The Mortgage Bankers Association and the National Association of Realtors both expect mortgage rates to rise about two-tenths of a percentage point more by the end of September, as job creation remains strong and the Federal Reserve raises short-term rates.

Not everyone is convinced that mortgage rates will keep going up. Fannie Mae, the government-sponsored enterprise that buys mortgages from lenders, expects rates to remain near the current level for the rest of 2018.

Michael Moskowitz, president of Equity Now, a mortgage lender in New York City, believes that mortgages will stay about the same because of weakness in European and Chinese economies, which could lead investors there to seek the safety of buying American debt, keeping a lid on interest rates.

Robinson, the agent in Virginia, says her advice to home buyers is “don’t be concerned about rising interest rates, OK? Because at this time, incomes are also climbing too, and interest rates are still historically low.”

» MORE: Compare today’s mortgage rates


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