For several years after the "mortgage meltdown" I told clients that "Interest rates can't stay this low forever." I still believe that's true, but it looks like they can stay low at least a little longer.
For some background, you can read a post I wrote in late 2018: Re-Post: Interest Rates. I suggested then that we could expect mortgage rates to rise over the coming year or so, but not suddenly or even continually. We have now spent 10 years convincing a whole generation of home buyers that low single-digit rates are normal. You'll find links to some older posts on the subject, one of which shows that the average from 1971 through 2015 was 8.4%. It was only in 2009 that mortgage rates fell below 5% for the first time in more than 40 years!
Weak economies around the world continue to make the US a target for investors seeking returns, and it doesn't take a lot to attract their investments. At some point, that will change or US fixed rate investments may need to provide higher returns. For now, though, with concerns about international trade driving, REALTOR Magazine published this today:
As noted in that article, this dip may encourage some buyers back into the real estate market. We'll see how long this lasts and how sensitive those buyers may be to moving back toward 4.5% or 5% in the coming year. That would certain impact the buying power of some, but I continue to believe the sales of housing around the country, and particularly in Austin and Central Texas are constrained more by a severe shortage of quality, affordable homes for sale than by concerns over interest rates.