How Mortgage Rate Increase Could Affect Yellowstone County Real Estate

Dated: 11/09/2018

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A seven-year high in mortgage rates could foreshadow a slowdown in Yellowstone County real estate in the coming months. 

Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist, says, “The economy continued to show resilience as strong business activity and growth in employment drove the 30-year fixed mortgage rate to a seven year high of 4.94 percent – up 11 basis points from last week.”

Khater added, “Higher mortgage rates have led to a slowdown in national home price growth, but the price deceleration has been primarily concentrated in affluent coastal markets such as California and the state of Washington. The more affordable interior markets – which have not yet experienced a slowdown in home price growth – may see price growth start to moderate and affordability squeezed if mortgage rates continue to march higher.”

So far in Yellowstone County, residential house sales have remained consistent. Data from the Billings Association of Realtor showed a slight increase from 2017 to 2018 with 2,082 to 2,137 year-to-date residential sales respectively.  

Nancy Brook, broker and CEO at Billings Best Real Estate, remains bullish on Billings area sales. "While we are seeing higher mortgage rates, buyers are still out there. I am in contact with many buyers from across the nation who want to move here and live the Montana dream. We consistently receive multiple offers on homes that are priced right and in move-in condition. So the key is to make sure your home hits the sweet spot when listing it."

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