With the low inventory, buyers have fueled a red-hot housing market over this past year as they rushed to secure record-low mortgage rates. But shifts may now affect borrowers planning to purchase in the near future.
Rising inflation and a strengthening economy are expected to push rates up by year end. Higher rates and increased home prices could push some would-be buyers out of the market.
Lending standards tightened during the pandemic as lenders looked to avert risk. Still, the most favorable rates will go to borrowers with stellar credit histories and large down payments. However, due to tightened underwriting, vacation and second-home buyers could face steeper rates.
Higher home prices are leading to larger loan amounts. As more people upsized their space in the pandemic, sales in upper price brackets outpaced those at lower price points.
Borrowers have more options as nonbank lenders gain market share. Alternative lenders are offering traditional financial products often at lower costs, with more relaxed eligibility criteria, and expanded digital options in loan processing.
Some owners are not selling because they don’t want to give up their existing ultra-low interest rate, thus squeezing supply and placing upward pressure on home pricing. Until prices stabilize and new construction keeps up with demand, the shortage of homes on the market will continue. Hopefully, by next spring, a market correction will be in affect and a shift in favor of buyers will be seen.