How did the market react to the Fed?

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What did the Fed have to say?

The Federal Reserve made its first announcement of 2024, and they’re….going to keep interest rates where they’re at. Fed chairman Jerome Powell stressed the need to confirm that inflation is in fact continuing to cool. The Fed has six months of data that indicates that inflation has slowed, but it’s still not at the 2% target.

Chairman Powell said, “We’ve had inflation come down without a slow economy and without important increases in unemployment. There’s no reason why we should want to get in the way of that process if it is going to continue.”

When it came to future rate cuts, it sounds like the Fed has ruled out a cut at their March meeting, but, as always, it depends on the data.

How did mortgage rates react to the Fed?

The national average for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage slid 0.12% to 6.75%* on Wednesday, but most of the movement happened before Chairman Powell approached the lectern. There was a fair bit of positive economic news this morning, and good news for banks, the bond market rallied. The rally in bonds spurred mortgage rates to head lower in the morning.

The next key data point we have is jobs data on Friday.

Which metro is emerging as the top real estate market?

The winter 2024 rankings for emerging markets from WSJ/ had a surprising metro area at the top slot.

Santa Maria-Santa Barbara, CA claimed the top spot in the quarterly list. The ranking factors include housing market data, economic volatility, and lifestyle metrics to highlight markets that may see future appreciation.

The median home price in Santa Maria-Santa Barbara is a cool $1.8 million, but inventory has been scarce and homes in this area get snapped up quickly. Homes in Santa Maria-Santa Barbara only average 52 days on market, nine days fewer than the national average.

* National average rates accurate as of 1/31/24 from and are not advertised rates from Guaranteed Rate.

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