Stillman expects fixed rates to be up to 0.5% higher in 2019 because of the variable rate spike and, specifically, how much more expensive it is for lenders to fund mortgages in light of repeated government intervention in the market.
“It’s become a lot more expensive for lenders to do mortgages with all the government intervention and the level of insurance they have to carry and their capital expenses,” he said. “It means higher rates. Banks are 1.8% above the five-year government bond rate and they’re happy to make a profit. Banks want to make up for their lower volume through higher rates, so they’re making more off every deal because it’s no longer a volume play.”