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  • Writer's pictureNancy Bennett

Mortgage Rates and Population Decline

My good friend, Greg Lartilleux, certified mortgage planner with Avenir Mortgage Planners, says mortgage rates will seriously come down, so be ready for a busy 2024!

  • According to Freddie Mac, the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate went from 7.79% on Oct. 26 to 7.03% on Dec. 7. 

  • In reality? A lot of buyers got over 8% interest rates at the end of October (due to various factors affecting the interest rate) and some buyers are now getting rates as low as 6.75%!

  • This is a big difference — a difference that would save you $638/m on a $750,000 loan, or one that would allow you to borrow $100,000 more with the same monthly payment!

  • So where are all the buyers? Most of them are hibernating for the HTC holidays (Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas), and Greg believes a lot of them will wake up in January with rates in the 6's and think: "I can afford $100K more in loan, let's go!" 

  • Smart buyers are looking in December, with less competition and great interest rates. Most buyers will wake up in January with a lot more competition. 

What Greg always says: If you find a home you love at a payment you love, then don't overthink it and buy it!

What can that mean for you?

I’ll give you a reminder of what each year looks like seasonally, so that if the trend continues, next year should be much of the same:

  • February and March — Huge buyer demand, prices stabilize and or go up.

  • April to end of May — More inventory and homebuyers can find the home they want, but still have competition.

  • June to early September — Late to the game: Home sellers who worked diligently all year to pack, purge and prepare their homes for sale at this time, notice that many homebuyers are gone. Summer vacation seems to be protracted with the school calendars, so families take off and housing inventory increases significantly by the end of August.  

  • October to December — Many leftover properties for sale along with fewer new listings. The newer listings tend to lean more heavily on probate, death, divorce, or fire sale type homes. I like to make offers on homes for sale about the middle of November with an end of year closing, which meets many seller goals to get it done by the end of the year for tax purposes.

Population decline? Yes, and it’s right here!

Concord loses over 5.5%: When a city’s population declines – whether birth rates go down, deaths increase, or people simply move to another area – it can affect the housing market, small businesses, employment and other factors.

SmartAsset ranked 344 of the largest U.S. cities based on the largest population declines over five years between 2017 and 2022. These cities lost the most people over the last five years:

  • California cities make up 40% of the top 25 places where the population decreased most. El Monte had the fifth-highest population shrinkage in the study, losing 9.3% of its population. 

  • San Francisco ranked sixth overall with a 8.6% decrease over five years. 

  • Santa Ana (-7.8%), Glendale (-6.8%), Inglewood (-6.3%), San Jose (6.2%), Pasadena (-5.9%), Concord (-5.5%), and Corona (5.0%) also topped the list.

For this week's blog, it feels like the real estate market may be warming up a bit in a few weeks. Our team is preparing a few homes for sale right now and it feels positive, fun and a bit festive at this time of the year.

I am hoping you’re getting your festive spirit on – with visits to Santa, family and friends this season!

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