Yesterday the minutes to the December 13, 2012 FOMC Meeting were released catching many off guard revealing the Fed may pull back on the purchase of mortgage backed securities earlier than originally planned.
Here are some bits from the minutes related to mortgage rates:
“While almost all members thought that the asset purchase program begun in September had been effective and supportive of growth, they also generally saw that the benefits of ongoing purchases were uncertain and that the potential costs could rise as the size of the balance sheet increased…
Several others thought that it would probably be appropriate to slow or to stop purchases well before the end of 2013, citing concerns about financial stability or the size of the balance sheet.”
Noting that “several others” of the FOMC are considering to pull back or stop buying mortgage backed securities prior to the end of 2013 caused a major sell off in the bond markets yesterday following the release of the minutes.
Mortgage rates have been at artificially low rates largely due to the Fed’s participation in buying mortgage backed securities (MBS). Should the Fed cease purchasing MBS and treasury securities, many anticipate that “real” mortgage rates would be closer to what we see in the jumbo or non-conforming markets. Currently jumbo rates are at least full point in rate higher than conforming mortgage rates based on a 30 year fixed.
If you have been considering buying or refinancing your home and benefiting from today’s low rates, I recommend doing so soon.
If your home is located anywhere in Washington state, where I am licensed to originate mortgages, I am happy to help you! Click here for a mortgage rate quote.