INDIANAPOLIS — It’s not exactly the most attractive time to enter the housing market.
Data from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis puts mortgage interest rates at around 6.3%, levels not seen since the Great Recession. It’s especially tough for first-time homebuyers, many of them minorities with either low-income, lower-credit ratings, or both.
A move announced in January by the Biden administration may provide at least some relief. The Federal Housing Finance Agency changed its rules on fees for mortgages originated by private lenders.
Kyle Benedict, senior lender at Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation, explained the change this way:
“Individuals with higher credit scores are going to already have naturally better interest rates, but they’re also going to be seeing higher fees than they were before. Individuals with lower credit scores will see higher interest rates, naturally, but now less fees than they would have before.”
Opposing the change are the Mortgage Bankers Association, the National Association of Home Builders and the National Association of Realtors. All three fear the move will further slow the housing market.
Benedict suspects the change will not likely affect higher-income buyers with good credit. He estimates the fee change will amount to hundreds of dollars, with buyers who could afford to absorb the additional cost.
The Indiana housing market may see negligible impact from the federal fee change. Average homebuyers enjoy exceptionally low closing costs. An analysis on Bankrate.com of 2021 data from ClosingCorp found only Missouri had lower closing costs ($2,061) than Indiana ($2,200).