WESTPORT, Conn. -- Mary Boudreau does not believe last month’s interest rate hike by the Federal Reserve will significantly impact home buying in the short term.
Boudreau, the branch manager for Westport-based Connecticut Home Mortgage, does however warn potential buyers the window might be tightening and the time to act is now.
“I think the impact of the rates will be very slow,’’ Boudreau said. “The Federal Reserve rates affect the prime interest rate and home equity lines of credit. Mortgages are more impacted by mortgage backed securities and the 10-year bond. The bond market is actually doing well. Interest rates for home mortgages are still very low.”
Boudreau predicted rates will not move sharply in the first six months this year. “I think we have a nice window in the first half of the year,’’ she said.
Boudreau’s prediction is good news for Realtors, many of whom are coming off a fantastic year. Many communities in Fairfield County saw their best activity ever in terms of units sold. One report claimed a 10 percent jump in single family home sales in 2015 compared to 2014. Fourth quarter single family home sales jumped 8 percent in Fairfield County, including 48 percent in the town of Fairfield with 179 single family homes changing hands.
“And it has been a very busy January,’’ Boudreau said. “It has been busier than in past years. Our weather has been pretty warm, so people are still out there to view properties. We’ll take that for sure.”
Other factors could impact home buying in the region over the next few months. Last week, General Electric announced it was moving its headquarters from Fairfield to Boston. Stock market volatility over the past month could also deter some people from making a move.
Boudreau’s advice for people who definitely want to get into the market is to move quickly. “For people who are sitting on the sidelines, this is a great window of opportunity.”
Boudreau is affiliated with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties in Westport, and can be reached at 203-429-1061 or via email at MaryBoudreau@Cthm.com