National Housing Market Outlook

Rising Rates Should Have Minimal Impact on Housing

Rick_Palacios_Jr_web

Rick Palacios Jr

February 9, 2018
Follow Rick on Twitter: @RickPalaciosJr

Mortgage rates have risen 1.0% or more ten times in the last 43 years, with little impact on home sales and prices when the economy was also strong. Here is the paper we shared with our clients a few years ago. Historically, rising confidence, solid job growth, and higher wages have more than offset reduced demand for housing resulting from higher mortgage rates. When rates rise during a weak economy, home sales and prices get crushed.

Today’s economic backdrop clearly supports continued home buying demand. Confidence among consumers and businesses continues to hit multiyear highs. Job and wage growth remains solid, with an increasing number of workers rejoining the workforce.

Home builders agree. In our survey of 300+ home builders this month, 85% said sales would decline less than 10% if rates were to rise all the way to 5.0%. 29% (generally luxury and active adult builders whose buyers are quite affluent) don’t believe sales will fall at all.

Builder stocks typically overreact very strongly to rising and falling rates, so don’t follow builder stock prices to assume what will happen to new home sales and pricing.

For perspective, mortgages rates have increased from 3.78% in September 2017 to 4.32% today, equating to a 6.7% increase in one’s mortgage payment. Rates rose even more last spring, jumping from 3.41% in July 2016 to 4.30% in March 2017 (11.5% spike in mortgage payment). Despite rising rates, housing had its best spring since 2013 last year, with a strengthening economic backdrop more than offsetting reduced demand from higher rates. All signals point to a similar scenario for builders as we kickoff spring 2018, with rising rates unlikely to ruin housing’s recovery.

If you would like to join the 200+ companies who subscribe to our research reports and services to make informed decisions, please fill out this form, and we will get back to you.

Building Market Intelligence™

Every week, we deliver analysis to over 40,000 subscribers with our Building Market Intelligence™ newsletter. Subscribe to our weekly BMI newsletters to stay current on pressing topics in the housing industry.

About The Author

Rick Palacios Jr
Managing Principal, Director of Research
Rick oversees and guides JBREC’s research platform while coaching his team daily.

Contact Us

If you have any questions about our services or if you would like to speak to one of our experts about we can help your business, please contact Client Relations at clientservices@jbrec.com.

Products and Services Mentioned

White Papers

Our white papers are in-depth studies of structural shifts in the housing market and economy. ​

Research Membership

Our research services enable our clients to gauge housing market conditions and better align their business and strategic investments in the housing industry. We provide a thoughtful and unique holistic approach of both quantitative and qualitative analysis to help clients make informed housing investment decisions.

Real Estate Consulting

Our experienced team of consultants helps clients make sound housing investment decisions. We thrive on their success and work with many clients over multiple years and numerous projects. ​

Latest Insights

What’s happening with hiring? Listen to these 4 recruiting firms.
Earth, Wind, and Fire: NileBuilt Homes Defy the Elements
Design Disruption: Architects’ Floor Plan Forecasts