Sports News

Will mortgage rates rise after this week’s Fed meeting?

With the Federal Reserve meeting again this week, many homebuyers are wondering about the future of mortgage interest rates.

Getty Images

All eyes will once again turn to the Federal Reserve this week as they meet to discuss the next steps with interest rates and economic policy. Specifically, will they raise rates above their current 23-year high? Or will they keep them steady following a series of disappointing inflation reports at the start of 2024? After all, rate cuts that seemed promising at the beginning of the year now seem off the table, possibly for the rest of the year

And while the Fed doesn’t directly dictate rates for loans like mortgages, personal loans and other borrowing products, what they ultimately decide will greatly affect what rate lenders are willing to offer. Homebuyers will then follow this week’s meeting carefully. After coping with the highest mortgage rates since 2000, buyers are looking for relief — or signs of rate relief to come. 

To that point, many are wondering if mortgage rates will rise after this week’s Fed meeting. That’s what we will break down below.

See what mortgage rate you could lock in before a potential increase here now.

Will mortgage rates rise after this week’s Fed meeting?

While no one knows with certainty what will happen after the Fed meeting, set for April 30 and May 1, the chances of a rate cut are minimal. Thanks to sticky inflation and a target inflation rate goal of 2%, more work must be done (the current inflation rate is 3.5%). So rate cuts look out for this week. While a rate hike is possible, it’s also unlikely to happen until more data about the fight against inflation becomes available. 

With those scenarios accounted for, then, it’s likely that the Fed will keep its benchmark interest rate unchanged at a range between 5.25% and 5.50%. But what will that mean for mortgage rates

It won’t be particularly positive. While a rate pause is better than a rate hike, even a hint at an extended pause — or the potential for rate hikes in the months to come — could cause mortgage rates to rise in anticipation. So what Fed chairman Jerome Powell says this week will go a long way toward cooling rates — or making them rise further. However, if homebuyers were hoping for a rate cut, as some were predicting at the end of 2023, that’s not likely to happen, at least for now.

See what mortgage rate you could secure before the Fed announces its rate decision.

How to get a lower mortgage rate now

While the sub-3% mortgage rates of 2020 are unlikely to return anytime soon (or ever again), that doesn’t mean homebuyers still can’t get a lower mortgage rate now. It will just require a bit more work and strategic planning. Here are three ways buyers can get a lower mortgage rate now:

  • Buy mortgage points: Mortgage points can potentially help you secure a rate half a percentage point or lower than average. By paying points (or a fee) to a lender at closing (or by having it rolled into your overall mortgage loan), you can potentially save hundreds of dollars each month with a lower rate. That said, the amount of points you can typically buy will be limited and will vary from lender to lender. 
  • Get an adjustable-rate mortgage: An adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) works as it sounds. It’s a mortgage in which the rate will adjust over time, typically starting at a below-average rate before rising after a predetermined period has concluded. That said, it’s important to crunch the savings here before acting because when the rate does adjust, it could become costly for many buyers. 
  • Shop around: While you’re unlikely to find one mortgage lender that offers a rate a full point lower than another, you can, potentially, find one that offers a slightly lower rate than others. And in today’s rate climate, every basis point counts. So shop around for lenders to find one offering the best rates and terms (and be sure to compare fees and closing costs, too, to ensure that the lower rate won’t be canceled out by fees paid elsewhere).

The bottom line

The strong potential for mortgage rates to rise again this week, even if the Fed keeps rates unchanged, could be a motivating factor for buyers to lock in a rate now. That said, there are still effective ways to get a below-average rate, ranging from buying mortgage points to adjustable-rate mortgages to simply shopping around for the best rates and terms. None of these strategies will bring back the record-low mortgage rates of recent years, but they are all worth carefully considering until the Fed finally starts cutting rates again. 

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Back to top button