Things are good, just not quite good enough. Or else the situation is bad, even though a silver lining exists in many of the storm clouds.
Reading the tone of the Fed can be a bit challenging sometimes.
Admittedly, I can get lost in the semantics. Would it be more accurate to say the recent meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee was one of “cautious optimism” or “restrained pessimism”?
Hopping onto a train of thought like that can be a somewhat pleasant distraction, though a bit of a time waster. It can be tempting to get frustrated with the Fed’s lack of clarity. I have to remind myself the Fed has to be extremely careful in their communications.
In deciding to hold off on raising interest rates, the Fed posited that the economy is basically strong but warrants further inspection. That consensus was based on the importance of continued monitoring of the economy to ensure current growth rates continue.
In its communications, the Fed noted that its position does not imply a lack of confidence; it’s simply that there’s no hurry to hike interest rates just yet. Make sense? Let’s apply the old wait-and-see approach.
Spoiler alert: The Fed meeting signals a rate hike will be coming in December or soon thereafter, barring any unforeseen negative development in the future akin to the Brexit vote that shocked the markets in July.
For those who watch the financial markets, there was an outcry about the Fed’s decision to keep interest rates at the current level. Many believe a rate hike would spur economic growth, and point to the fact that many economic indicators are positive.
A report from the U.S. Census Bureau in August indicated a recent uptick in payroll employment. The increase fell a little short of analysts’ predictions but it was there nonetheless.
In the same report, household income showed a substantial rise, the first of any significance in more than eight years. The payroll giant ADP also recently put out a positive report based on non-farm employees, showing that 255,000 people were added to the workforce in July.
Also, many economists and financial pundits are confident the fourth quarter will be extremely strong, buoyed by a rise in consumer spending.
The takeaway from all of this, in my mind anyway, is that now is the time to buy a home or an investment property. Yes, prices have appreciated over the past few years, but interest rates have a much more dramatic impact on purchasing power than prices.
If you have been on the fence about purchasing, consider that most economic indicators are strong and the outlook is generally positive. This means interest rates are likely to increase in the immediate future.
It’s a perfect storm of positivity for buyers (sorry couldn’t resist).
Another factor that makes this a great time to buy is the typically slow fourth-quarter real estate market. The kids have gone back to school. The holidays are coming. People don’t want their house on the market. Buyers have retreated back into their busy schedules. Sellers are therefore more willing to listen to offers, recognizing that the buyers are gone and the market has cooled.
For a confidential assessment about your purchasing power, or to find out how you can get preapproved for a loan, contact me at the number below.
Patrick Stoy has 15 years of mortgage lending experience. Patrick is CEO of Wilmington-based Market Consulting Mortgage, which he started in 2005 with a mission to build lifelong customer relationships by providing real value. To learn more about Marketing Consulting Mortgage, visit www.macmtg.com. Patrick can be reached at [email protected] or 910-509-7105.