The Federal Reserve has raised short-term interest rates by a half percentage point for the first time in 22 years as inflation continues to surge.
The Fed’s target range is now between 0.75 percent to 1 percent. The 0.5 percent hike follows a 0.25 percentage point increase in March.
The Fed also announced plans to shrink its $9 trillion asset portfolio starting in June.
Fed Chairman Jermone Powell said last month the 50-basis point hike would be considered at this month’s two-day meeting, and another half percentage point also may be on the table at June’s meeting.
Economists believe inflationary pressures are unlikely to ease anytime soon, as America nears “maximum employment” and the Russia-Ukraine conflict pushes food and energy prices even higher.
The Commerce Department recently found that prices had risen 6.6 percent during the 12 months ending in March.
This is more than three times the Fed’s target rate for inflation.
With this most recent jump, the Fed is aiming to ease inflation by making it more expensive to borrow.
Meanwhile, consumer demand continues to intensify for everything from long-postponed vacations to home buying.
In the mortgage industry, demand continues to be strong despite the significant challenges with housing inventory.
Mortgage rates continue to rise, but they still remain favorable — historically speaking.
The Mortgage Reports found that 30-year mortgage rates have averaged just under 8 percent overall.
In comparison, today’s 5 percent rates are still a good deal.
As a result, consumers are still eagerly rushing to their lenders to snag whatever rates they can get, and this is likely to only intensify as buyers try to beat continued rate increases throughout the year.
Home buyers are continually seeking lenders that can navigate their complex, urgent buying needs, and moving toward online lenders that simplify the process.
Experts say the best approach to connecting lenders to their customers is meeting them where they are.
This includes marketing that educates the borrower on the current market outlook, the expectations, and how the lender or broker can meet these needs specifically.
Building the right marketing strategy is essential for mortgage professionals to attract the types of customers who need what they have to offer.
This includes creating high-quality, informative, and entertaining content that draws the intended audience to a website, where a lender can then get information on the customer and reach out for next steps.