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March 19, 2020 Mid-Century Modern

Market Reflections Amid the Coronavirus Pandemic

I hope everyone and their families are healthy and safe during this very frightening and difficult time as we all navigate this global coronavirus health crisis together. As valued clients and subscribers, I want you to know that I continue working with my clients who have current contracts, scheduled closings or who are planning to buy and sell in the coming weeks and months ahead.

While the crisis has quickly upended markets, it is important to take stock of your current needs and plans to determine your best course of action.

During the past week, we still have seen activity with some homes going under contract within days. Obviously, this is a snapshot and can change. Before the outbreak, the market saw extremely low inventory and low interest rates. Prime properties were going within days or not even making it to the open market. In the markets I track, I am still seeing this type of activity.

The government is taking extraordinary measures to bring down borrowing costs, including mortgage rates. While rates are volatile now, experts and economists are expecting the efforts to bring down long-term rates to historic lows.

See this excerpt below from a recent Housing Wire article by Kathleen Howley:

“But for the mortgage market, the [Quantitative Easing] program and the pledge to reinvest [Mortgage backed securities] runoff was the big news because it will increase competition for agency bonds. When demand goes up, yields go down, and that usually translates into lower mortgage rates.

“The Fed is creating liquidity and creating demand for mortgage-backed securities, which drives down rates,” said Mark Goldman, a loan officer with C2 Financial in San Diego. “It will take a few weeks for things to settle down, but once that happens we could see rates return to record lows of near 3%, and there’s a chance we could see a sub-3% rate for a 30-year fixed conforming loan.”

Frank Nothaft, CoreLogic’s chief economist, said the new lows in rates could come just as the housing market’s spring selling season hits its stride.

“It may not be tomorrow or next week, but I think longer term as we look to the spring, yes, I think we could see rates moving down to new lows and possibly below 3%,” Nothaft said. “It’s certainly possible.”

While the health of our loved ones and neighbors is most important, these uncertain times may also be surfacing a lot of questions about your home. How has the value changed? How does this affect my upcoming move? Is refinancing my mortgage a good option? etc.

If this topic is on your mind and you think it would be helpful to connect, I am happy to jump on a call to talk through any questions or concerns you may have.

In addition, I’m doing the best I can to support those around us in need. While there are various avenues to give back – if interested, Compass just opened up a new donation area in Compass Cares.

I can be reached at 301-503-6171 or at michael.shapiro@compass.com.