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On March 15th, 2020, the U.S Federal Reserve (FED) announced that it would drop interest rates to zero for the first time since the 2008 financial crisis. Once lowered during the financial crisis, rates remained at this level until December 2015. As a secondary effort to maintain economic stability during this period of uncertainty, the FED also recently announced its plans to buy $700 billion in Treasury and mortgage-backed securities to boost the economy from the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. The primary goal of these actions is to lower borrowing costs to a minimum over time.

Since the beginning of 2020, mortgage rates have fallen to the lowest average in 50 years. With so much uncertainty surrounding the spread of COVID-19, no one knows how these events will impact the housing market over the next several months. In the past three months, a backlog of mortgage applications continues to grow along with the growing number of homeowners looking to refinance their homes. 

According to the Mortgage Bankers Association, mortgage loan applications have not reached this quantity in over a decade. Because of the lower rates, many Americans are concerned that they will miss out if they do not buy or refinance their homes at this time. While some sellers are taking their homes off the market and cancelling open houses, low mortgage rates are continuing to drive homebuyers to the market.

The uncertainty of the housing market may continue to mirror this economic uncertainty over the next few months in the midst of the COVID-19 outbreak. As people around the world settle into a new reality of indefinite quarantine, real estate agents are continuing to close deals on virtual mediums as we approach peak buying season. The success of this upcoming transition to digital interactions and communications with buyers will be a key factor in the success of the market for upcoming months.

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