In 2016, mortgage rates surprisingly remained consistently low for the first 10 months before shooting up after the presidential election.
Zillow examined mortgage rates throughout the year, noting the specific moments that caused sharp rises and drops.
The rates hovered between 3.3 and 3.6 percent for the bulk of the year, as the housing industry dealt with falling oil prices, tumultuous global markets, and changes in monetary policy. Rates plunged 15 basis points after Fed Chair Janet Yellen’s speech about “global risks” in March, and rates fell 15 to 20 basis points again in the summer after the United Kingdom announced its exit from the European Union.
Of course, the largest financial market shock of the year was the U.S. presidential election. The political uncertainty sparked by the election of Republican Donald Trump prompted mortgage rates to spike toward two-year highs. In the three days after the election, mortgage rates jumped by roughly the same magnitude as they had fallen between early January and mid-February in the face of global stock market turmoil, and then proceeded to jump further.