HousingWire Research: The Mortgage Rate Lock-In Effect is Shaping Today’s Market

The mortgage rate “lock-in” effect has been hotly debated. Experts have vehemently disagreed on the timing, drivers and implications of mortgage rate lock-in. This effect is explained as a phenomenon where homeowners with low mortgage rates are unwilling to sell and purchase another home with elevated mortgage rates. That we can agree on. But what really causes lock-in? And what market environment will provide lock-in relief? 

This HousingWire Research report unveils a new approach to analyzing lock-in – inventory opposed to transactions – revealing surprising insights that may change your view on how the real estate and mortgage sectors will perform in coming years. 

Using proprietary data from Altos Research, we identify the root causes of the lock-in effect, explain how it’s shaping today’s market, and forecast what may happen next.

This research report discusses:

  • When the lock-in effect truly began (spoiler alert: it wasn’t in 2022)
  • The impact of cheap holding costs on inventory
  • How higher mortgage rates are already helping to alleviate our inventory crisis
  • What will happen to inventory and prices if rates fall
  • Why home sales are growing in spite of persistently high rates
  • Which market conditions will help reduce the lock-in effect
  • … and more.

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