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mortgage rates

Graph from Michael Ardolino

By Michael Ardolino

Michael Ardolino

Many real estate experts will tell you when selling a house, no matter what the market is like, the seller can get a great return on their investment if they understand market trends. This particular piece of advice is always worth repeating.

Right now 

Many buyers were starting to acclimate to raising mortgage rates, which doubled within months in 2022. Lately, things have been improving. As of April 6, Freddie Mac reported an average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage of 6.28%, which was down from 6.32% the week before, making it the fourth seven-day period in a row where rates decreased.

A dip in mortgage rates leads to more buyers returning to the market.  

For countless potential homeowners, the obstacle will not be the mortgage rates; it will be the low inventory.

“Mortgage rates continue to trend down entering the traditional spring homebuying season,” said Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist, in a press release. “Unfortunately, those in the market to buy are facing a number of challenges, not the least of which is the low inventory of homes for sale, especially for aspiring first-time homebuyers.”

Low inventory combined with higher rates than last year means prices are remaining steady across Long Island.

In a recent article on the Keeping Current Matters website, Lawrence Yun, chief economist at the National Association of Realtors, projected home prices will remain steady. “We simply don’t have enough inventory,” Yun said. “Will some markets see a price decline? Yes. [But] with the supply not being there, the repeat of a 30% price decline is highly, highly unlikely.”

In other words, most real estate experts are not predicting another housing crash.

Be a savvy seller

While home prices remain steady, buyers are not offering more than the asking price for houses that need work. How do you get your house to sell quickly? Make any necessary repairs. As I have mentioned in past columns, this doesn’t mean elaborate renovations. It means you must fix that leaky faucet, running toilet or damaged flooring.

Sellers also need to be flexible with showings. Keep your home clean and organized so that when an agent calls to say a buyer wants to look at your home, it can be viewed at a moment’s notice.

Most important of all, now more than ever, you want to work with a real estate agent who prices your home realistically. Look at what similar homes sold for in the past couple of weeks, not the last few years.

Take away

Sellers who are practical regarding pricing — looking at today’s prices and not yesterday’s — and choose to work with a real estate professional can garner a great return on their investment. 

So … let’s talk.

Michael Ardolino is the Founder/Owner-Broker of Realty Connect USA

By Michael Ardolino

Michael Ardolino

There is optimism and opportunity in the current real estate market.

What’s trending

Mortgage rates hovered in the 6% range over the last two months after peaking at 7.08% last fall, according to FreddieMac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey. As of Thursday, Feb. 9, FreddieMac reports a 6.12% rate. We’re now seeing more buyers infiltrate the market again who pulled out during the recent rate hikes. Renewed opportunity for a larger buyer pool means you may see more action for your house, and possibly more offers that will come in. As for buyers, it’s still very early, and you can get into the home you’re looking for before other buyers continue joining the market again.

“Mortgage rates are the dominant factor driving home sales, and recent declines in rates are clearly helping to stabilize the market,” said Lawrence Yun, National Association of Realtors chief economist.

Lisa Sturtevant, Bright MLS chief economist, also stated, “Mortgage rates fell throughout January, prompting more buyers to view properties and make offers. Inflation has begun to ease, boosting consumer confidence. Many agents and brokers are expecting a robust [housing] market, and the overall mood in the market feels much more optimistic.”

Why now?

Unemployment at 3.4%, easing inflation, and low rates improve affordability significantly. This gives your buyers more room to bid higher on your house, and as a buyer yourself, you can submit a much stronger offer than you would when rates are higher.

It’s important to understand that 6%, and even 7%, rates are still low when compared to how high they’ve gone several times in the past, and you’re still getting a great rate. Although rates dropped throughout January, there are mixed predictions about what the rest of the year will bring. Local home prices are stabilizing, while inventory remains low and is inching toward a more balanced market (see graph). Knowing the theory of supply versus demand, wise sellers can jump to put their house on the market before inventory continues to increase.

Timing, how you price your house, and guidance from a real estate professional who does research and stays up to date on the market is essential to your bottom line and how quickly your house will sell.


Take advantage of your built-up equity and the current market: historically low rates, easing inflation, low unemployment and low housing inventory. An experienced real estate agent who does their due diligence of research and homework, as well as stays up to date on current market trends, will make a significant impact on the success of selling your home. 

So … let’s talk.

Michael Ardolino is the Founder/Owner-Broker of Realty Connect USA

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Michael Ardolino

By Michael Ardolino

In last month’s column, I wrote about how the real estate market experiences its ups and downs. A few current trends are an example of how true that is.

Mortgage rates

While mortgage rates dropped half a percent the week ending July 7, they shifted slightly back up the following week to 5.51% for a 30-year fixed mortgage.

Keep in mind that the rates we have been seeing are still historically low, even with experts forecasting that the Federal Reserve will boost rates by ¾ of a percentage point at its next meeting.

Some financial experts believe we are headed toward a recession, and you may wonder what happens to interest rates in that scenario. Due to fewer people taking out loans, banks may offer interest rate programs to incentivize people. Currently, interest rates are still very low and can be locked in.

Inventory trend

After an extended seller’s market, there still isn’t enough inventory to keep up with the demand. Keep an eye on mortgage rates, though. Some may decide not to buy or sell, thinking they’ll get a better deal by waiting. This may not be the best decision for buyers or sellers and may also lead to an inventory increase. 

Experts are now forecasting that the increase will be more than 9% by the end of 2022, which means more competition. This increase will not occur instantaneously; it will take some time. Get that For Sale sign up before your neighbor does.

Foreclosures may play a factor in inventory increases, too. The COVID-19 Eviction and Foreclosures Act of 2020 enacted a moratorium until Jan.15, 2022. 

While experts are seeing a steady climb in foreclosures throughout the country, the ATTOM U.S. Foreclosure Market Report shows New York’s foreclosures are 13.3% less than the same period in 2020. It’s a trend to keep an eye on as the more houses foreclosed on, the more properties are available to buyers.

Another factor is the federal act helped slow down foreclosures during a time when homes were appreciating. For some who were about to default on their mortgages before the moratorium, they can now sell their homes for more money and pay off what they owed.

To touch on appreciation, according to a One Key MLS report, median sales prices in Suffolk County showed a nearly 11% increase from June 2021 to June 2022.

Here’s more good news for Suffolk County. In the last few months, the majority of homes were still selling in less than a month and about 23% quicker than they did last year during the same period. 


It’s all about pricing. When talking to a real estate professional, they should discuss current market factors, as well as details of your home, and help you price it accordingly. Also, proper pricing will enable you to sell your home to your timing and pricing expectations.


There are many moving pieces regarding how well a person will do when selling or buying a home. Considering buying your first home, downsizing, moving into a bigger place or to another state before the end of the year, now is the time to discuss your plans with a real estate professional. So … let’s talk.

Michael Ardolino is the Founder/Owner-Broker of Realty Connect USA.

Stock photo

By Michael Ardolino

Michael Ardolino

The experts were right. U.S. Federal Reserve System Chair Jerome Powell recently said that raising interest rates 50-basis-points, which converts to .5%, is on the table for the central bank’s May meeting.

The May rate increase will follow the Fed’s decision to raise rates in March. It would be the first time since 2006 that rates were raised in back-to-back meetings. And, the half-point increase would be the first in 22 years.

Mortgage rates

Since January, mortgage rates for a 30-year fixed mortgage have climbed from an average of 3.11% to a current 5.35%. It’s the first time that the rate has gone above 5% in a decade. We’ve mentioned in several past articles that experts have always projected rising interest rates spread across 2022, even though they are still on the low side.

Mortgage rates on the rise and inflation fluctuating may prompt people to question where the housing market is leading. People may also wonder how home prices and home unit sales will be affected.

According to Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist, mortgage rates increased for seven consecutive weeks. “While springtime is typically the busiest homebuying season, the upswing in rates has caused some volatility in demand,” Khater said. “It continues to be a seller’s market, but buyers who remain interested in purchasing a home may find that competition has moderately softened.”

This softening makes sense as many potential buyers may start looking for houses in a lower price range or take a break from looking at homes.

Debunking some myths

Some buyers may want to wait until home prices and mortgage rates decrease, which isn’t a financially-savvy move. It’s imperative to keep in mind that rates and prices will continue to rise, so the longer you wait, the more it will cost you.

Homeowners, don’t think you can set the asking price at whatever amount you want because of a seller’s market. Your house still needs to be priced appropriately. Real estate professionals have seen homes that have remained on the market for months, even though most properties have sold in days around them. It’s all about pricing.

Despite memories from the early 2000s, the housing market is not in a bubble ready to pop. The 2006-08 bust happened because of the foreclosures that flooded the market due to purchasers who weren’t qualified for the mortgage they had and homeowners using the equity in their homes as if it was an ATM.

What has happened in the real estate market the last few years has happened naturally and hasn’t been generated by financial institutions easing lending requirements. Today’s market is continuing as a seller’s market with homes continuing to appreciate due supply and demand, because the pandemic increased the number of people who realized the importance of having their own home, especially in the suburbs.


A recent article in The New York Times, “The Sky-High Pandemic Housing Market Finds Gravity Does Exist,” summed up the current real estate market best.

“By any standard that prevailed before 2020, this would be a hot real estate market.” While demand is subsiding slightly, home prices remain high, with economists predicting a continued rise in the near future.

So … let’s talk.

Michael Ardolino is the Founder/Owner-Broker of Realty Connect USA.