By now, we are all aware that at its December 14th meeting, the Federal Reserve increased its key interest rate by 0.25%. This was the first interest rate hike all year, and only the second interest rate hike in a decade, with the last one being in December 2015. Three more interest rate hikes are forecasted for 2017.
Buyers are now feeling the urgency to purchase and take advantage of low rates. If you have been waiting to refinance, now is also the time to do so if you still have a higher rate, or an adjustable rate. While no one has a crystal ball, the historically low interest rates we have been enjoying might become a thing of the past.
If you have been thinking of selling your current home and buying another, or buying a home for the first time instead of renting, this is the time to put those plans on the front burner rather than putting it off until the spring or summer.
On a positive note, November 2016 home sales were up over October 2016 home sales. Typically, November home sales in the Tampa Bay area trail just a little bit behind October home sales. While October 2016 trailed behind October 2015 sales, November 2016 sales rebounded, and were up 20% over November 2015 sales.
We might chalk this phenomenon up to the uncertainty preceding the election, and the increase in sales in November reflected buyers finally feeling confident to move forward.
We want to wish you a merry Christmas, happy Hanukkah, and a blessed and prosperous New Year.
If you have any real estate questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We are happy to help.