Zillow + Fannie Mae: Brexit vote will likely lower mortgage rates

Outside chance Fed may lower interest rates, too

Some experts say that the Brexit vote could result in U.S. interest rates falling even lower.

Previously, the fed had predicted that it would be raising rates possibly even as soon as July, however that may not be an option anymore. In fact, before the Brexit decision, Janet Yellen, chair of the Board of Governors, indicated that a rate hike was not out of the question, and may still be on the horizon.

“The reaction in the Foreign Exchange markets has been as forecast in the event of an exit, a shift to the advantage of the dollar,” Fannie Mae Chief Economist Doug Duncan said. “U.S. treasury rates have fallen as capital markets participants have moved toward safety. This will likely lower mortgage rates as well in the short term.”

“What should we expect for the U.S. economy, monetary policy, and the real estate and mortgage markets?” Duncan said. “This already seems to have raised the degree of uncertainty in the minds of the business community regarding future economic policy and prospects.”

“This uncertainty, which is different than any individual candidate's proposed economic policy, may dampen already weak capital investment activity and the most recent employment data have already registered a slowdown in hiring,” Duncan said. “Consumers who have recently showed some strength in consumption spending and in housing in spite of their continued pessimism about the direction of the US economy will be key to keeping a ‘tepid at best’ economy moving ahead.”

And he wasn’t the only one to make this prediction.

“We expect mortgage rates to reach historic lows in the wake of the Brexit vote, as investors flock to relatively safer investments in U.S. mortgage-backed securities,” said Erin Lantz, Zillow vice president of mortgages.

“The vote may also delay future federal funds rate hikes as the Fed assesses the degree of political and economic uncertainty that the vote introduced to global markets,” Lantz said. “Consumers worried about buying or refinancing before rates rise will now have more time to take advantage of this historically low rate environment.”

Some experts even encourage buyers to jump on these rates, saying that these low rates won’t last.

"Mortgage rates will tumble following the Brexit vote, possibly hitting new record lows,” Chief Financial Analyst Greg McBride said. “If you're a borrower, don't wait to lock your rate as this opportunity may not last long."

Many investors are betting that by February 2017, rates will be where they are today, according to an article by Chris Matthews for Fortune.

“It is not difficult to see parallels between the sentiment of U.K. voters and the sentiment of voters in the U.S. presidential election,” Duncan said.

Here’s what the presidential candidates have to say about the Brexit vote:


While Scotland was taken out because of the U.K.’s vote, it was actually one of the few areas that very strongly voted in, but you know, minor details. 


That being said, many agree that this vote will not have a major effect on the economy, and say that it could be years before the decision takes effect, therefore shielding the housing market from seeing any changes. 

Although interest rates may go down, ValueInsured CEO Joe Melendez warns against the effects the rates could have on home prices. 

“I definitely don't expect Yellen to raise rates at this point given the uncertainty and even if the Fed does, we will still be at historic lows," Melendez said. "That said regardless of the changes in rates housing will be affected."

"If rates remain low, it will fuel even higher demand, which risks overinflated prices in a market that many are already saying is too high," he said. "And yet if rates go up, elastically home prices will start to come down, which is good for future buyers but not great for those buying today."

"In either situation, people should carefully evaluate all options available to modern homebuyers that can protect their investments," Melendez concluded. "Like a 401K, unless they plan to commit to a single home for 30 years, they should expect some ups and downs especially in the near term.”

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