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Interest Rates: No More Hikes in 2019?


Pair of glasses on an Interest Rate documentLast week, the Federal Reserve decided to keep interest rates steady, amending earlier predictions there would be more interest rate hikes in 2019. The news came as a relief to many investors.

And it gets even better for investors because Fed Chair Powell all-but-said rate hikes would be benched in 2019. The soonest we could experience a hike would be next year. The reason has to do with the economic growth we’re experiencing right now in the United States. The Feds are predicting 2.1% economic growth in 2019. That number is down from the December forecast of 2.3%, but it’s still excellent.

Read: Montecito Homebuyers: Should You Pay Cash Or Take Out a Mortgage?

“The reason we’re on hold is that we think our policy is in a good place, and the economy’s in a good place, and we’re watching carefully,” said Fed Chairman Jerome Powell in a press conference following the two-day policy meeting. “It’s a great time for us to be patient and watch and wait and see how things evolve.”

While officials were expected to downgrade their forecast for more rate hikes in 2019, they weren’t expected to downgrade it much.

“Whether at the Fed or the private sector, the most dangerous thing that you can do as an economist is change a forecast, because the worst thing that could happen is to find out that the forecast you had before was correct,” says Robert Brusca, who formerly worked for the New York Fed and is now chief economist at Fact and Opinion Economics. “This is a risky change that they’ve made. In some sense, they really seem to have made up their mind that conditions have changed.”

Read: 3 Ways to Maximize Your Profit When Selling a Home

After years of rising rates designed to keep the labor market and economy afloat, the Fed finally started lifting rates back in 2015. It has since hiked rates nine times, as it transitions from stimulating economic growth to stabilizing it. Four of those upward adjustments occurred last year.

Time to List

If you’ve been on the fence about listing your home in any of the upscale Montecito or Santa Barbara neighborhoods, I suggest you act quickly. Total mortgage application volume rose 4.2% last week amid lower volatility in the mortgage market, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s seasonally adjusted report. Volume was still 15% lower compared with the same week one year ago. That’s good news for sellers because while there are more home buyers out there, inventory is still limited.

More buyers are hitting the pavement as we enter spring and head toward summer: both prime homebuying seasons. In fact, experts say May and June are consistently the best months to sell when premiums are highest. (The seller premium is the price at which a home sells above estimated market value.)

Even in such excellent selling conditions, there is still a lot a seller should take into consideration when finding the right agent to work with. First, they should keep in mind the fact that today’s buyers are savvier than those of yesteryear because they can, and do, gather lots of information prior to starting a home hunt.

Read: Hiring a Realtor®? Consider Their Knowledge

Most buyers also gather intel through reading articles. One piece of information of utmost importance is that buyers are likely to pay more for a home during the high traffic months. Your agent should work that knowledge in your favor and market your home to buyers’ concerns.

Headshot of Realtor Cristal ClarkeKnowledge and Marketing

With a dedicated, licensed Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties real estate agent like me at your side, selling a home is easy, fast, and stress-free. I bring with me years of experience and knowledge. Plus, I was just named one of Berkshire Hathaway’s top 10 agents nationwide for 2018 (out of 45,000 agents).

Growing up in Santa Barbara gives me an edge over other agents who don’t know the history of this amazing place like I do. Plus, I stay current on all matters concerning real estate on a local, regional and national basis.

home for sale in Santa BarbaraBesides experience and knowledge, my success also depends on marketing. I begin a comprehensive campaign for every new listing by adding the property to my comprehensive website. Property such as the Impeccably Renovated Equestrian Estate pictured here. Next, I create a beautiful direct mail marketing piece to send to prospective buyers.  That flyer is complemented by advertisements in upscale magazines and newspapers. For all of the above, I always use custom photos of the property, as well as professionally written descriptions.

My social media comes into play, too, with feature placements on FacebookTwitter, and YouTube. I also post weekly blogs, which adds strong SEO value to my website and draws in potential buyers who are interested in luxury Montecito and Santa Barbara real estate. 

I’ve only scratched the surface and would be delighted to meet with you to go over this information more in-depth. The takeaway here is that if you are considering selling your home in any of Santa Barbara’s upscale neighborhoods, I suggest you act NOW while the Federal Reserve is keeping interest rates steady. I’d be happy to add your property to my portfolio of fine homes and estates in the area. Give me a call at +1 805.886.9378 or email me at


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