It usually takes at least some digging to come up with relevant news for Lafayette real
estate watchers. Last week provided an exception.
The boldest headlines, cable TV info crawls, and email announcements dealt with the
unexpected move in mortgage interest rates. The welcome news for Lafayette home sellers and
prospective buyers came with Freddie Mac’s midweek announcement that the benchmark 30-
year mortgage rate had fallen to 3.97% “for the first time since November.”
Beneath the “Mortgage Rates Tumble Below 4 Percent” headline, the quasi-government
site elaborated on the importance of the move. The drop had pierced “the psychologically
important 4 percent level.” Freddie doesn’t usually delve into psychology, but in this case, it was
well warranted. Locally, Lafayette mortgage interest rates had been expected to trace a slow but
steady rise, paralleling the Federal Reserve’s announced intention to nudge bank borrowing rates
upward. Last month, after the Fed did exactly that, Lafayette mortgage interest rates behaved as
expected, tiptoeing upward.
Of course, since higher lending rates mean buyers experience higher monthly payments,
that could presage less real estate activity. But since the Fed was expected to continue with two
or three more Fed funds rate hikes in 2017, the opposite had been expected. More likely,
prospective homebuyers would appreciate that the 4+% rates were still lower than average—and
want to take advantage of them before they moved higher.
And in fact, by Friday the NAR’s REALTOR® website could confirm that U.S. “Existing-
Home Sales Jumped 4.4% in March.” The spring selling season was off to a robust start,
chalking up the strongest month of sales in a decade. That was all well and fine, but how to
explain the drop in mortgage interest rates?
Some informed opinion had it that world financial markets were queasy about an election
in France, so capital was seeking safety (real estate lending fits the bill). When lenders have lots
of investors sending cash into their coffers, rates get competitive. Others saw signs that the Fed
might once again fail to follow through on future rate hike promises.
As for the most important takeaway—namely, what should local buyers and sellers expect
for the immediate future of mortgage interest rates in Lafayette, prognosticators were saying
things like, “it’s important not to over-interpret” the latest news. Translation: “It’s anyone’s
One thing that is certain: we’re again seeing absolutely terrific Lafayette mortgage interest
rates! For potential buyers and sellers who choose to take advantage of that window, the way to
get started is as easy as giving me a call!
Ted M. Daigle
Move Ahead, with Ted!
Why Work With A Realtor? - Today's homebuyers have more5 CRITERIA FOR PRICING A HOME to sell in Lafayette Louisiana - When you put your home up for,Today’s Lafayette House Hunting—It’s Something Else! - Everyone still calls active would6 Reasons to Own a Home -
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