Mortgage Rates and Buying a Home

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Source: Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels

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The #1 driver in today’s real estate market continues to record low interest rates.

Photo of grocery cart with money inside

Source: Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels

According to Freddie Mac “While overall economic growth will be impacted by the pandemic and subsequent vaccine, we expect the housing market to stay the course in 2021.”.  And The National Association of Realtors® (NAR) is predicting rates to remain low throughout 2021.

Compare rates for the 1st quarter of 2021:

Graph from Freddie Mac reflecting mortgage rates since 1/1/21 through April 12th.

To rates from the same time period in 2017:

Graph from Freddie Mac showing mortgage rates 1st quarter of 2017

Mortgage rates are almost a percentage point lower for a buyer in 2021 versus 2017.


A home priced around $280,000 with 5% down is approximately a $200 lower monthly payment with today’s lower rates versus 2017.

Add to the historic low-interest rates the frenzy that buyers are greeting new well-priced listings as they hit the market.  From April 15th to April 19th (2021) 447 single-family homes went “pending” (sold but not closed).  The average list price was $283,213.  The highest-priced home that sold over the weekend was priced at $1,500,000.  Now consider the average number of Days on the Market (DOM) was 11 days and you can see why bidding wars are now the norm.

Low mortgage rates and inventory of homes continue to fuel the local Cincinnati real estate market.  It’s frustrating!  Scary -when homes sell for significant amounts over the asking price- will they appraise?  Will today’s buyers be caught off guard if and when the market slows and sale prices decline?

Buyers and sellers need to work closely with their Realtors® to price and bid properly.