The Feds raised interest rates, again, this week. The California Dream for All Program is still out of money, but there are other down payment assistant programs still out there. This weekend marks the return of the Simi Valley Street Fair. This is the market brew.
FED Raises Rates, Again
On Wednesday, the Federal Reserve raised interest rates yet again. This is the 10th rate hike since March 17th of last year. But will this be the end of interest rate hikes, or will there be more in the future?
As always, nobody acting responsibly will try to predict the future. However, investors in the bond market are betting that the Fed will reverse course and begin to lower rates once again later this year if a recession should materialize. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell is being a bit more tight lipped about the entire situation, merely stating that the Fed could be done hiking rates for now and that any future rate increases or decreases are going to be data dependent.
“The assessment of the extent to which additional policy firming may be appropriate is going to be an ongoing one, meeting by meeting.”– Jerome Powell
Fannie Mae Chief Financial Officer Chryssa Halley said economists continue to expect a “modest” recession in the second half of 2023, which could be exacerbated by recent bank failures. But many economists also expect mortgage rates to decrease later this year. This would likely cause housing to be a bright spot in the economy in the months to come.
The rapid increase in home sales in response to small rate declines earlier in the first quarter “illustrates our expectation that the pent-up demand in the housing sector will help moderate any future recession.”– Chryssa Halley
In other words, even if the rest of the economy suffers due to a recession, the housing market is expected to remain strong, at least in the short term.
How To Find Down Payment Assistance Programs
Many people were disappointed when the California Dream for All Program ran out of funding after about a week in operation. However, there are many down payment assistant programs, and first-time buyer grants available, if you know where to look. Nationwide, there are 2,351 different down payment assistant programs available, with the average amount of down payment assistant granted last year at $17,000 per grantee. Now, that may not seem like a lot with the price of some homes, however, as many first-time buyers are well aware, every bit counts.
There are various types of programs available. The largest being down payment assistance from federal, state, and local agencies. However, there are special programs in some areas for firefighters, military, and school employees. Not to mention the private down payment assistance many employers offer to attract high quality talent.
One quick way to locate down payment assistance in your area is to visit Down Payment Resource. They have also partnered with Zillow to allow you to quickly locate down payment assistance programs available for any given property. Simply go to Zillow, locate the property you are interested in, click on the “Overview Tab”, and scroll to the right to find “Down Payment Assistance”. Simply answer a few questions and find out what programs you qualify for.
As a first-time home buyer, the process of buying a home can already seem daunting. Don’t let a lack of a 20% down payment dissuade you in purchasing your first home.
Simi Valley Street Fair 2023
The Simi Valley Street Fair is happening this Saturday, May 6th, up at the Simi Valley Town Center. It is the largest annual event in Simi Valley and attracts more than 20,000 people per year. Starting at 9am and running until 4pm, there is something for everyone. There will be vendors, live entertainment, food, a beer and wine garden, and a Kids’ Fun Zone. Best of all, admission is absolutely free.
I’ll be there with my family to support the local businesses. So if you see me wandering around, be sure to stop me to say hello. The weather is going to be pretty mild, but be sure to wear sunscreen as there isn’t a lot of shade. I’ll see you there.