Robust demand, stocked by record low mortgage rates, and a dwindling supply of homes has led to an “ultracompetitive” real estate market. For lenders, this could mean fewer mortgage loans once the refinancing boom plays out and mortgage rates begin to rise. According to Freddie Mac, the U.S. housing supply was almost four million homes below total demand at the end of 2020. This has been attributed to many factors, some of which include rising cost of lumber, lack of labor, and local zoning restrictions. Policy experts agree that the anticipation of rising interest rates could drive a push for new federal policies to expand home construction, specifically with a potential shift of focus towards affordable housing.