The Federal Open Market Committee cited weak job creation and global economic instability as continued reasons to leave its benchmark Federal Funds Rate alone.
The Federal Funds Rate is the rate banks use to lend money to each other overnight, and it has been near zero for eight years in an attempt to stimulate our economy. If upcoming economic reports are strong, the Fed could still decide to raise the Fed Funds Rate at its December meeting. The key takeaway is that when the Fed Funds Rate does rise, home loan rates could follow suit, depending on overall market and economic conditions.
In housing news, the Commerce Department reported that New Home Sales fell 11.5 percent in September. The Northeast was the hardest hit with a near 62 percent decline from August. High demand, limited supply and increasing home prices influenced the drop.
Despite the decline, year-over-year sales are up 2 percent.
Third quarter economic growth also slowed, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Initial readings suggest Gross Domestic Product grew at a 1.5 percent pace in the third quarter, below expectations and well below the second quarter's reading of 3.9 percent growth. After nearly $5 trillion dollars spent to help our economy since 2008, it seems to be stuck around 2 percent growth, much to the Fed's dismay.
The bright side to the recent disappointing reports is that home loan rates remain near historic lows, making now a great time to consider a home purchase