The U.S. Federal Reserve announced Wednesday it would cut interest rates for the first time since a recession hit the U.S. economy in 2008. Real estate economists are split on the immediate impact it will have on mortgage rates and the housing market.
The Fed is cutting interest rates 25 basis points from between 2.25 percent and 2.5 percent to between 2 percent and 2.25 percent. It had previously signaled it would not hike rates at all in 2019 – after four rate hikes in 2018 – but it became more apparent in recent weeks that it would actually cut rates this time.
“Consistent with its statutory mandate, the Committee seeks to foster maximum employment and price stability,” the Federal Open Market Committee said in a statement. “In light of the implications of global developments for the economic outlook as well as muted inflation pressures, the Committee decided to lower the target range for the federal funds rate to 2 to 2.25 percent.”
“Although the labor market remains strong, with healthy job growth and the unemployment rate near long-term lows, the Fed’s concerns about our economic outlook and the long lag time between lowering rates and seeing effects in the real economy were key drivers of the decision,” Hale said.