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Navigating Denver's Housing Market: Understanding Inflation and Mortgage Rate Changes

Cher Revolinski

Your go-to real estate professional for Parker Colorado and the surrounding South Metro Denver area...

Your go-to real estate professional for Parker Colorado and the surrounding South Metro Denver area...

Aug 19 5 minutes read

It's top of mind! With inflation and the Denver housing market dominating local and national economic headlines, it’s crucial to grasp how these factors interact, particularly in Colorado's thriving real estate environment. When the rate of inflation skyrockets, the Federal Reserve responds by hiking the key interest rate. As a result, borrowing money in Denver becomes more expensive—and interest rates on essentials like car loans, credit cards, and especially Colorado mortgages increase. While this often drives inflation down, it can also shake different markets, industries, including the Denver real estate market, and impact the entire Colorado economy.

What's next?  Well - right now, the Fed is targeting a “soft landing” for the U.S. economy, aiming for a balance where inflation and growth decelerate (remember those terms from previous blog? The New Normal), but a recession is avoided. This strategy holds significant implications for those living in Denver, where recent data supports that we're on the right track. However, industries like tech, finance, and particularly the housing market in Denver, Colorado, have felt the force of these higher interest rates.

So, if you're considering buying a home in the vibrant Denver area, understanding these economic nuances is essential. The local real estate market trends and mortgage rates are intrinsically linked to these broader financial shifts. 

Here's what you need to know:

Inflation is at its lowest point since 2021.

Inflation is hovering right around 3%, down from 4% in May and an ultra-high peak of 9.1% in June of 2022. The current rate is the lowest it’s been since March 2021, but it’s still higher than the Federal Reserve’s target rate of 2%. The latest numbers released on August 10th showed that inflation rose two-tenths of one percent from June to July (mostly due to rising rent and gas prices), but core inflation is actually down—and that’s significant.

What’s core inflation? When the prices of everything started rising, did it seem like the prices of groceries and utility bills jumped the most? If you said yes, you’re right—and it wasn’t your imagination. That’s because historically, the prices of food and energy are volatile, meaning that they are sensitive to changes in the global economy, environment, and more, and they can rise or fall dramatically in a short amount of time. Core inflation measures the price inflation of goods and services excluding these items because of their volatility. That way, the national inflation rate won’t be skewed dramatically by an outlier, and we can get a more accurate picture of inflation overall.

What does that mean for the housing market and mortgage rates?

Analysts believe the Fed will stop raising rates.

According to AP News, economists believe that the Fed will pause interest rate hikes if inflation trends downward. The next Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting is in late September, so whether or not rates rise again will depend on what inflation does between now and then.

What’s next for mortgage rates?

According to Forbes, mortgage rates are likely to stay between 6 and 6.9% through the end of 2023. Even if the Fed stops raising the key interest rate, that won’t necessarily equate to a drop or even a freeze in mortgage rates. This is because mortgage rates don’t just track the federal funds rate. They also rely on the yield on the 10-year Treasury note as well as investor expectations and other factors. 

Instead of waiting for mortgage rates to drop to buy or sell your home, it can often be a better choice to make moves now and refinance later when rates drop. Here’s why:

  1. Real estate values always appreciate in the long run. So even if values rise and fall in the short term, you’ll face higher prices down the road if you wait.

  2. If you move now, you’ll start building equity. When you do that, you benefit from rising home values instead of struggling with prices that feel unattainable.

Ready to make the market work for you?

If you’re tired of fighting the real estate market and you’re ready to make current conditions work for you, get in touch. Our expert team has the experience and knowledge you need to achieve your goals—no matter what mortgage rates are doing.

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