Lately, we’ve discussed how important it is to plan your strategy for the new year and the various data solutions we offer to help you achieve it. We also all know about the record-low mortgage rates and resulting swarms of mortgage applications, and the effects that rising rates have on the numbers of applications. Now, with many experienced industry thought leaders predicting a steady rise in mortgage rates over the course of 2022, and what appears to be a slow return of seasonality to the real estate market, it’s critical to examine other potential patterns in mortgage rate trends and plan accordingly.

Is there a specific time of year that mortgage rates are low?

While there’s no surefire way to predict when mortgage rates will rise and fall, and no pattern holds true 100 percent of the time, when you examine Freddie Mac’s chart of historical mortgage rates a pattern does emerge. Just like everything else in real estate, mortgage rates tend to have their own seasonality, and, you guessed it, the best time to shop for a mortgage (historically) is December.

This does make sense, as it’s more likely for lenders to lower rates when mortgage applications are down. When are most people less focused on buying a home? Logically, the answer is during the holiday season when the focus is on family, presents, and celebrations. Plus, house hunting in cold weather isn’t the greatest experience.

Multiple mortgages at a lower rate are likely to amount to more profit than closing on one mortgage with a higher rate, so it does make sense that when business is slow, mortgage rates drop to entice more business, and when business is booming those rates will rise because more is just not as needed. We saw this same principle throughout 2020 and 2021 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. To keep the economy stable during a time of large scale lay-offs and lost time at work due to illness, mortgage rates dropped to entice potential homebuyers to keep buying.

When are rates often highest?

As you would expect, March through May typically holds the highest rates, as spring is when buyers typically return to market after their winter hibernation, when the weather is more conducive to hauling a house-full of belongings into a moving truck and subsequently, into a new home.

If you’re ready to conduct your own mortgage research, we have the data you’ll need. Mortgage assignment and release data is a 15-year record of historical transactions that include the property address, borrower and ownership details, lender name, and original mortgage information. While you’re at it, you can browse our library of other data solutions to upgrade your market analyses, step up your game, and improve your teams market share. Then, if you haven’t already, you’ll want to pre-order your year-end Loan Originator and Mortgage MarketShare reports so you can take a deep dive into the past years mortgage trends and predict what new patterns could emerge (or continue) into 2022 to form a winning strategy.

When you’re ready, just reach out to a data specialist to discuss how our data can work for you.