Understanding the Rise in Mortgage Rates and Home Prices – President’s Message July 2023

If you’ve been watching the housing market lately, you may have noticed that both mortgage rates and home prices are rising. As someone interested in buying a home, you might wonder why this is happening. In this newsletter, I’ll break down the key factors behind these trends, helping you make sense of the current housing market.


  1. Economic Factors: The economy significantly impacts mortgage rates and home prices. When the economy is strong and inflation increases, central banks may raise interest rates to keep inflation in check. Here in the United States of America, the Feds have increased the Federal Funds Rate ten times since March 2022. Although the Federal Funds Rate and mortgage rates are not directly connected, this action shows that inflation is elevated. We’ll talk more about inflation and its impact later in this newsletter. Additionally, a robust economy results in higher demand for homes, pushing up prices.
  2. Supply and Demand: The balance between the number of homes available and the number of potential buyers plays a crucial role in shaping mortgage rates and home prices. In many areas, such as Hawaii, there is a shortage of homes compared to the demand. This scarcity creates fierce competition among buyers, driving up prices. 
  3. Inflation Concerns: Inflation refers to the gradual increase in the cost of goods and services over time. Lenders consider inflation when setting mortgage rates. If they anticipate higher inflation, they may raise rates to compensate for the expected decrease in the value of loan repayments. Conversely, individuals may invest in real estate to hedge against inflation, increasing demand and prices.
  4. Government Policies: Government policies and regulations can also impact mortgage rates and home prices. Changes in tax laws, lending regulations, or housing market regulations can influence the cost of borrowing and the overall demand for homes. Additionally, government initiatives such as programs or incentives for first-time homebuyers can affect housing demand and prices.

In conclusion, the increase in mortgage rates and home prices can be attributed to a combination of economic factors, supply and demand dynamics, inflation concerns, and government policies. Remember that these factors can vary depending on regional economic conditions. It’s always wise to consult local real estate and financial experts to understand better the specific factors influencing mortgage rates and home prices in your area.


Stay informed and take your time when making decisions in the housing market. It’s an exciting but important journey, and understanding the factors at play can help you navigate it more confidently.