Increasing mortgage rates have prospective home buyers concerned about affordability. But while higher rates may have buyers calculating costs, mortgage lenders don't expect they'll deter Americans from shopping for a home this year. In fact, according to Fannie Mae's most recent Mortgage Lender Sentiment Survey, participating lenders expect buyer demand to remain largely stable, despite rising rates. Doug Duncan, Fannie Mae's senior vice president and chief economist, says there are a number of unknowns that will impact conditions in the months ahead. “Numerous uncertainties, including heightened inflation and the Fed's monetary policy reaction, which must now also account for the inflationary impact of Russia's war on Ukraine, suggest increased market volatility, but the general underlying, upward rate trend aligns with lenders' expectations,” Duncan says. Despite the upward trend, however, the share of lenders expecting purchase demand to grow over the next three months climbed significantly from last quarter, though it remains lower than years past.
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