The current economic scenario, marked by a slowdown in economic activity and a decrease in inflation, could influence mortgage rates in the coming year. The recent meeting of the European Central Bank (ECB) confirmed the level of the official cost of money, keeping the refinancing and deposit rates unchanged. Despite the current calm, experts suggest that the future trend of rates will depend on macroeconomic projections and the return of inflation to the 2% target.
Macroeconomic Outlook and Future Rates
September forecasts indicated an expected average inflation of 2.1% for 2025. However, with the recent inflation dip, there is speculation that the hike in rates could approach if inflation nears 2%. The European Central Bank must assess whether market expectations, imagining a cut in the early months of next year, align with its strategy.
Market Trends and Cost of Credit
Despite the cautious attitude of the ECB, markets seem confident in a future rate cut. The synthetic yield curve is declining, especially for medium and long maturities. However, the cost of credit continues to rise, with mortgage interest rates in Italy reaching 4.72% in October, setting a new record since 2009.
Italian Families Under Pressure
The rise in mortgage interest rates has hit Italian families hard, especially those who opted for variable-rate financing. According to a survey by Facile.it, about 200,000 families struggled to repay one or more installments in the last year. The sudden increase in the cost of mortgages, caused by the ECB’s interest rate hike to 4.5% to curb inflation, has strained the budgets of many families.
Expert Predictions and Central Bank Decisions
Experts predict a decline in rates in 2024, likely between spring and summer. However, central banks, as highlighted by the recent decision of the Federal Reserve, seem inclined to keep rates unchanged, postponing any cuts to the next year. The ECB, expected to keep rates unchanged according to market forecasts, may need to reconsider its communication strategy to avoid excessive optimism from investors.
While a decline in rates is on the horizon in 2024, Italian families face financial challenges due to the record increase in mortgage rates. The ECB, along with other central banks, will need to carefully balance future decisions, considering the inflation trend, economic prospects, and the impact on loans and mortgages that directly affect families and the economy as a whole.