The Federal Reserve voted to leave interest rates unchanged Wednesday and signaled that it’s not in any hurry to resume raising rates in 2019. Fed Chairman Jerome Powell used words like “patient” to describe the Fed’s latest approach to increases. His change in tone follows four rate hikes last year. The Fed’s benchmark rate is not directly tied to mortgage rates but does often influence them.
“Home buyers are very sensitive to changing interest rates and will likely respond positively if mortgage rates remain below 5 percent,” says Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist.