PITTSBURGH (KDKA) - At above 6 percent, home mortgage interest rates have hit a 14-year high.
"Until inflation gets under control, you can expect rates to continue to creep up," said Jim Martin, a local mortgage broker.
Martin said while home mortgage rates are not directly controlled by the Federal Reserve, what the Fed does has an impact by controlling inflation. The Fed is expected to raise its interest rates on Wednesday by three-quarters of a percent for the third time in a row.
"Once the Fed puts their policies in place, they think they've got enough of an increase rate, you will see things start tapering off. If the economic activity starts falling off because of these rate increases, that's when you'll see our rates level out and perhaps come down a little bit," Martin said.
In other words, mortgage rates drop when inflation seems under control. Given the uncertain future, is this a good time to buy a home, either a first-time home or a bigger home for a growing family? Martin said it depends on your situation.
"If you rent and your monthly rents are skyrocketing,I would spend this time now getting a new house," Martin said. "If you've already renegotiated your lease and you're locked in for the next 12 months and you want to ride it out, yeah, you can do that. But right now if you're facing that dilemma – do I sign a new lease or buy a new house? – I would definitely fall on buy a new house."
In many cases, your monthly mortgage payments will be less than your monthly rent. If you already own a home and need to buy that bigger house and can afford to pay the higher monthly payments at 6 percent, then go for it, said Martin. But you can also put off buying that bigger home until rates come down.
"When the Fed increases its rates, typically within the next 12 months there's a recession," Martin said. "Whether it's a slight one or a large one, there's usually a recession. And almost, if you look historically, almost every single time there's been a recession, our mortgage rates go down. So just hang tight."
Existing homeowners are already locked into their mortgage rates, hopefully at rates under 4 percent. The good news for those taking out mortgages today is that you can always refinance to a lower rate once those rates start to drop.
for more features.