The Fed raised interest rates by a quarter point from a range of 0.25 to 0.5 percent to a range of 0.5 to 0.75 percent. Rates could continue rising throughout the coming year, leading to higher mortgage rates and decreasing volume for lenders and realtors. But the same economic factors that gave the Fed the confidence to raise rates (growing wages, low unemployment) may keep demand strong even in a rising-rate environment. Both the National Association of Realtors and the Mortgage Bankers Association predict 2017 will see more existing home sales than 2016.

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