Senior Spotlight: What Fed Rate Moves Could Mean For Longterm Homeowners

You have owned your home for a long time. You have thought about selling. You keep seeing home values rise and rates fluctuate. What does this all mean for YOU?!

Bottom Line

My Senior Spotlight blog this week is dedicated to my longtime homeowners and the questions that they ask me the most. After decades of working with every age and type of homeowner, I know that there are many, many people aged 55 and over who have been thinking of selling their home for some time. Many have an idea of where they want to move to. Most even know what kind of home they want next and are often pretty excited about the future! But the hardest part is pulling the trigger and trying to decide when and how.

A recent article that I came across on Mortgage News Daily effectively outlined the options for potential sellers when (and IF) the Fed lowers rates. I thought that these points may be helpful to add to the list of considerations you have with regards to selling your longtime home.

The article cited the period between 2000 and 2003, “when mortgage rates fell from more than 8 percent down to 5 percent”. The result: “Annual home price gains over that time increased from 2 percent to more than 10 percent, and year-over-year changes in home sales went from zero to over 10 percent.”

With Redfin Chief Economist Daryl Fairweather predicting that the Fed will “cut interest rates this summer to bolster the economy in the face of trade tensions”, he similarly anticipates that rates could fall to 3.5% by year end – a figure not seen since October of 2016. The increased affordability is projected to increase the buyer pool; the increased demand could push more sellers off the fence – but is still unlikely to create enough supply to meet demand. Fairweather denotes that the current and “healthy” price gains of 3% could surge to 8% (the amount seen in 2016). Is it too late to position yourself to sell in 2019? No! Are there other factors to consider? Always.

While there are many ‘ifs’ related to the mortgage rate decreases and even more variables which impact price gains and ultimately, your ROI, the bottom line has more to do with YOU than the market as a whole. How long you have owned your home, where you plan to go and what gains you need to get there are the driving forces of your personal listing clock.

The data in short points to the fact that while gains are slowing – they are still going strong! They may surge, they may remain slow and steady… the gauge that matters is if these trends are also occurring where you plan to move to. Every price gain and waiting period is relative; as your own home value goes up – so does the value of the home you wish to buy next; the longer you stay in your current home, the longer you are waiting to enjoy your next one.

Coming from the perspective of both a high school biology teacher (yes, it’s true!) and a three-decade real estate agent, I can tell you that there is no perfect science to life. I can also tell you that one small change (in the market or in life) can lead to many big results. Ultimately, my best advice is to re-evaluate your selling situation each time there is a change in the market or a change in your own needs and wants. Knowledge is power, and continuing to weigh your options will often provide the perspective you need to tip your scale in one direction or the other.

Further Reading:

Here’s What Homebuyers and Sellers Can Expect if the Fed Lowers Rates

Home Prices Accelerate for the First Time in 12 Months

5 Big Reasons to Sell Your Home This Year (Because It Could Get Tougher)

All my best,


Bobbi Decker, SRES®, CIPS®
Broker Associate, Today Sotheby’s International Realty
Bobbi Decker & Associates
BRE 00607999
p. 650.346.5352

Bobbi Decker & Associates fully supports the principles of the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Opportunity Act. For more information, please visit:

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