St. Cloud's summer starts off with a celestial milestone. Our grade school teachers told us to call this point in the calendar a “solstice.” There are two each year, and this is the summer one. If there had been one of those models of the solar system in the room, the teacher would have used it to illustrate the way Earth’s orbit…well, here it always got a little complicated. Especially if the teacher started explaining the difference between a solstice and an equinox. An equinox happens when the day and night are the same length: each exactly 12 hours. 

“Solstice” comes from Latin words for “the Sun” and “standing still”: it’s when the Sun’s position in the sky reaches as far north as it’s going to get. Up until then, every noontime, the sun kept creeping further and further northward. At the equinox, its progress stops cold. At noon the next day, it will reverse course. And keep dipping southward until the winter equinox…

Anyway, for St. Cloud real estate, this week is even more significant than an equinox, because the summer solstice is also the first day of summer—and that is exactly the midpoint of what is traditionally real estate’s busiest time of year: the spring-summer selling season. Take a look at St. Cloud’s listings and you’ll see both the new ones that weren’t there in May and those that are now under contract: the multiple comings and goings are why this season is so productive.

The same holds true just about everywhere else in the country, too; and with the start of summer came some additional welcome news (the kind of news that we had expected). First off, the Fed’s Janet Yellen confirmed that interest rates were not going to be going up yet. This was the opposite of what had been pre-announced in April, then back-pedaled last month. May’s weak jobs report was the culprit (or hero, if you are lucky enough to be applying for a mortgage any time soon). 

So it may be merely a coincidence, but it does seem as if the Fed is observing its own kind of solstice. They’re not moving interest rates, no matter how much they’d like to. Rates are at a standstill. Maybe the Fed Governors will decide to take a break—get out of the office to enjoy summer like the rest of the nation…  

Meantime, home loan rates continue to be thrillingly inexpensive—a boon for St. Cloud real estate in all quarters. Buyers and sellers all benefit when monthly mortgage payments look the way they do now. So for this year at least, the solstice marks a great time to give me a call!