So far the Fed has increased its benchmark rate three times since the financial crisis as they track economic improvement and attempt to maximize employment and stabilize inflation. If the economy continues to improve, and economic data remains positive, another increase could come as soon as May or June. While consumers with credit card debt may see an immediate increase in interest rates as a result of the Fed’s rate increases, the effect on longer term mortgage loans will be less direct, but still impactful. As RPM’s Julian Hebron explains in an article on Zillow “Even though mortgage bonds represent longer-term rates, these Fed hikes still fuel selling of mortgage bonds, pushing mortgage rates higher.”
Rates began ticking up in the wake of the election and the upward trend is expected to continue, albeit at a slower pace compared to the first few post-election months. If you are currently in the market for a home, you may be concerned about battling increasing prices and upward trending rates. But, you could have the option to tackle affordability by buying down your rate.