What Will (or Won’t) Change With Rising Mortgage Rates?

April 20, 2022

Real Estate

Mortgage rates are up sixty percent since the start of the year.
For a homebuyer crunching the numbers, the difference between three and five percent interest is considerable.
Yet, so far, the real estate sky is not falling. Why?
Two things, if you’ll allow us to postulate.
First is that our severe lack of supply remains the dominant force in the market. To dethrone the long-reigning champ of Bay Area housing trends, it seems it will take more than 5% mortgage rates—maybe a whole lot more.
Which gets to a second point: it helps if you zoom out.

Historical Perspective on Mortgage Rates

Here’s the national average so far in 2022 on a 30-year, fixed-rate loan via Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey®.
Here’s the same chart of the last 50 years.
Rate hikes are not inconsequential. As rates move, homebuyers must adjust their expectations accordingly. This is not what most consider a fun talk at the dinner table.
But, on a macro scale, we could do worse. We have done worse. In fact, we were in about the same spot less than five years ago.
The last time rates neared five percent was November 2018. That month, the median SF home sale price was up three percent year-over-year. Then up another five percent a year later.
Over the long term, SF Bay Area real estate has been a pretty safe bet. If you expect rates to go higher, the smart choice may be to buy sooner rather than later. Many buyers are doing just that. And ask your friends who have owned their homes for a few years how often they have refinanced. Personally, we’ve refinanced 2 times in the past 4 years on our primary residence.
Whether you are crunching the numbers yourself or just here for the real estate banter, rest assured that the sky, for now, is still above our heads. 
If you are in one of these categories, or if you plan to be (by gracefully aging, as one does), then head to our sister blog for a deeper dive on Prop 19. And definitely check with a CA real estate attorney or tax advisor before you make any serious moves!
As always, please don’t hesitate to reach out with any real estate questions. Contact us here!

Bay Area Real Estate Updates

This article is an excerpt from our recent email newsletter. To get the next edition directly in your inbox, subscribe today for free! Our twice-monthly newsletters are always custom created and curated—and never spammy. We highly value your privacy, and we never sell or share your information.
Ready? Click here to subscribe!

Off the Presses

Articles Featured in the Vivre Real Estate Newsletter

How Rising Mortgage Rates Are Affecting the Housing Market – NYT
Is it better to rent or buy a home in the Bay Area’s biggest cities right now? – SF Chronicle
Google will invest billions in California, Bay Area gets big chunk – Mercury News


Events, Community & Things We Love

Dogfest 2022
A celebration of dogs, families, community, and spring in San Francisco, DogFest is back *in person* this Saturday 4/23, 11am-4pm at Duboce Park! See all the events and vendors.
Art Market
April 21-24, San Francisco’s premier art fair returns to Fort Mason Center with 80 galleries and artists from around the Bay and the globe. Fair passes are $50, or pick a day for $25. Visit Art Market SF.
SF Film
April 21-May 1, the San Francisco International Film Festival kicks off its 65th year as the longest-running event of its kind in the Americas, with over 130 films and events from 56 counties. Get tickets at SF Film.

Recent Blog Posts

Stay up to date on the latest real estate trends.

Dessert in Bernal Heights: 5 Top Spots to Treat Your Sweet Tooth

Got sugar on the mind? Us too. Here are 5 great places to get dessert in (and around) Bernal Heights.

5 Amazing Restaurants in Bernal Heights

Taste what these 5 fabulous restaurants in Bernal Heights have to offer!

Maui: A San Francisco Bay Area Guide to Vacation, Second Home and Retirement Real Estate

Everything SF Bay Area homeowners and adventurers need to know about visiting and buying property on Maui.

Discount Brokerage ‘Low Fees’ Come With Hidden Costs

When you’re looking to buy or sell a home, you might be tempted to go with a discount brokerage. After all, they typically have salaried agents or operate remotely, wh… Read more

Top 5 Things to Do in Bernal Heights

You’ve arrived at this tucked-away community south of downtown San Francisco, and now you’re looking for things to do in Bernal Heights. Welcome! Maybe you just signed… Read more

Early Bird: Why SF Bay Area Spring Home Sellers Might Try Winter Instead

Want to know a secret? The best time to list your home is not spring. Well, not exactly. In the SF Bay Area, many spring buyers start shopping in December. By the ti… Read more

Coffee Shops in Bernal Heights: Our 5 Favorite Cafés

There’s no shortage of coffee shops in Bernal Heights, and that’s a good thing. Whether you’re looking for a place to grab a quick cup of coffee or sit down and relax … Read more

Car Prices Are Falling. What About SF Bay Area Real Estate?

Hi friends, Take a detour with me… to the used car lot. For at least a year, the used car market has been insane, because the new car market has been insane, because s… Read more

Chain Reaction: Making Sense of Changing SF Bay Area Real Estate

Hi friends, When the market starts to transition, it can happen quite abruptly. (Read Danielle’s quote on this and more in the SF Standard.) The recent triple-whammy o… Read more

Let's Talk

You’ve got questions and we can’t wait to answer them.