Q. What are interest rates going to do this year, and what’s that going to mean for selling my house?
It is widely expected that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates in 2022, if they haven’t already done so by the time you’re reading this.
For some historical perspective, we’ve been in such an abnormally low interest rate environment for so long now that many people think an interest rate of 4% is high! When I bought my first investment property 16 years ago, the interest rate was 9% - and I thought it was great.
In normal markets, rising interest rates would mean fewer buyers; and that would be bad news for sellers. But this is most definitely not a normal market. We could instantly lose half the buyers out there, and we’d still have too few homes on the market for them to buy.
When we drill down on our local market here on the Seacoast, we’re actually poised to adjust to rising interest rates better than some other areas of the country.
New Englanders tend to save a lot and have less debt overall, so buyers continue to have 20% or more to put down. Not so in other areas of the country; and that makes more buyers unable to weather even small fluctuations in interest rates.
Local banks are winning the interest rate battle over national companies right now, and Mainers tend to bank locally and have access to those rates. Also, the time these local banks need to complete real estate transactions is shorter because they handle everything in-house. This is a boon to both buyers and sellers.
In short, yes, expect a rise in interest rates.
But when that happens, we will still be in historic low territory, and our local market has unique factors that will cause it to remain strong.
Troy Williams has been the #1 agent in York county since 2012. His work ethic and unmatched expertise and knowledge of the local real estate market keep him consistently one of the top realtors in Maine. His office can be reached at 1-207-351-8188.
"Ask Troy" and other articles focused on New Hampshire and Maine real estate and area information are featured monthly in the Williams Realty Partners newsletter Connect; if you'd like to receive the newsletter please email jenna@williamsrealtypartners.