If you're on a Galaxy Fold, consider unfolding your phone or viewing it in full screen to best optimize your experience.
by Maurie Backman | Published on Nov. 28, 2021
Many or all of the products here are from our partners that pay us a commission. It’s how we make money. But our editorial integrity ensures our experts’ opinions aren’t influenced by compensation. Terms may apply to offers listed on this page.
Mortgage originations are on the rise, even as the holidays loom.
It's common for mortgage activity to slow down around the holidays. At this stage of the year, people are usually busy making plans to celebrate the season and are less focused on going out and trying to find a home to buy.
But last week, mortgage application volume increased 1.8% compared to the previous week, reports the Mortgage Bankers Association. And that jump was largely fueled by applications to purchase a home, as opposed to refinances.
Buying a home during the holiday season can be a mixed bag. For one thing, there's the challenge of juggling open houses and different appointments with holiday travel plans, buying gifts, and the many other tasks that arise this time of the year.
And also, it's not exactly the friendliest time of the year to house hunt from a weather-related perspective. In some parts of the country, snow is or will soon be upon us, making the simple act of going out to see homes more difficult.
On the other hand, the one benefit of trying to buy a home during the holiday season is that the competition may be less intense. This year, there's been a notable shortage of available homes on the real estate market, which has made things very difficult for prospective buyers to navigate. But if a large chunk of buyers put their plans on pause to focus on the holidays instead, it could give those who persist a clear edge.
Holiday season aside, now's a challenging time to purchase a home because property values are extremely inflated across the U.S. We can thank the aforementioned lack of inventory for that.
But that said, a big reason why buyer demand has stayed strong despite record-high home prices is that mortgage rates have been sitting at attractive levels all year -- and they're still looking good right now.
Granted, rates could stay low well into 2022. But we don't know exactly when they'll start to creep upward, whereas we know that they're competitive currently. And if you're able to lock in a low enough interest rate on your mortgage, it could help offset the higher price you'll pay for a home.
It's clear based on the data above that buyers are still interested in buying homes regardless of the time of year. But ultimately, the decision to buy a home during the holidays is yours to make, so think about your financial picture and the plans you have in the coming weeks.
If pursuing a home purchase seems overwhelmingly stressful and you're already looking at stretching your budget to buy a home, then you may want to consider waiting. The last thing you need is to feel like you're squeezing in home buying between holiday obligations -- not to mention writing out a check for a down payment at a time when you may be spending thousands on holiday travel and gifts.
Chances are, interest rates won't stay put at multi-decade lows for much longer. That's why taking action today is crucial, whether you're wanting to refinance and cut your mortgage payment or you're ready to pull the trigger on a new home purchase.
The Ascent's in-house mortgages expert recommends this company to find a low rate - and in fact he used them himself to refi (twice!). Click here to learn more and see your rate. While it doesn't influence our opinions of products, we do receive compensation from partners whose offers appear here. We're on your side, always. See The Ascent's full advertiser disclosure here.
We're firm believers in the Golden Rule, which is why editorial opinions are ours alone and have not been previously reviewed, approved, or endorsed by included advertisers. The Ascent does not cover all offers on the market. Editorial content from The Ascent is separate from The Motley Fool editorial content and is created by a different analyst team.
The Ascent is a Motley Fool service that rates and reviews essential products for your everyday money matters.
Copyright © 2018 - 2022 The Ascent. All rights reserved.