What May Impact Mortgage Rates this Week: November 3, 2014

MortgagePorter-JobsReportBlack Knight Financial Services says at least 7.4 million mortgages should refinance, due to where rates are today and looking at borrowers with current notes at 4.5% and above. This may also be a good time to refi into a conventional mortgage if you have an FHA mortgage with a rate in 3% range with expensive FHA mortgage insurance.

Last week the Fed formally wrapped up their aggressive buying of mortgage backed securities (QE) which helped to keep mortgage rates at such a low level over the past couple of years. This was not a surprise to the markets as the Fed had continuously reiterated their plans to end QE in October. Mortgage rates seem to be slowly trending higher.

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What the Fed Said

20140504_210758In a nutshell, the Fed will no longer be manipulating mortgage rates at artificially low levels. As I write this, I’m receiving intraday rate sheets from some lenders with pricing for the worse.

This is from the Fed’s Press Release:

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What May Impact Mortgage Rates this Week: October 27, 2014

10584108_10152349540866046_1789571015476639111_nWill this week bring tricks or treats with mortgage rates? The stage is set to be another volatile week for mortgage rates with scheduled economic events/indicators. The Fed is expected to retire QE3 this week, in which they were buying bonds and treasuries to keep mortgage interest rates at artificial low levels.  In addition, the economic issues taking place in Europe and other uncertainties in the world, just adds to the drama we may see play out with mortgage rates.

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The Fed says Easy Squeezy $10B

2012-08-20-0845Yesterday wrapped up the Fed’s two day meeting and, as expected, there was no change to Fed Funds rate. They did announce in their statement they will ease off another cool $10 Billion per month starting in February of their mortgage backed security purchase program.

From the press release:

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What the Fed Said

This morning, mortgage rates continue to take a hit from yesterday’s comments by Mr. Ben Bernanke before and after the Fed minutes were released.

Prior to the minutes being released, it seemed as though Ben was letting the cat out of the bag by eeking information regarding the economy, QE3 and the continuation of keeping mortgage rates at their artificial lows. Bernanke had stated that bond buying would continue until labor markets improved, which the bond market favored.

The minutes were released revealing mixed views on when the Fed should pull back on buying bonds, like mortgage backed securities:

“Participants also touched on the conditions under which it might be appropriate to change the pace of asset purchases. Most observed that the outlook for the labor market had shown progress since the program was started in September, but many of these participants indicated that continued progress, more confidence in the outlook, or diminished downside risks would be required before slowing the pace of purchases would become appropriate. A number of participants expressed willingness to adjust the flow of purchases downward as early as the June meeting if the economic information received by that time showed evidence of sufficiently strong and sustained growth; however, views differed about what evidence would be necessary and the likelihood of that outcome. One participant preferred to begin decreasing the rate of purchases immediately, while another participant preferred to add more monetary accommodation at the current meeting and mentioned that the Committee had several other tools it could potentially use to do so. Most participants emphasized that it was important for the Committee to be prepared to adjust the pace of its purchases up or down as needed to align the degree of policy accommodation with changes in the outlook for the labor market and inflation as well as the extent of progress toward the Committee’s economic objectives. Regarding the composition of purchases, one participant expressed the view that, in light of the substantial improvement in the housing market and to avoid further credit allocation across sectors of the economy, the Committee should start to shift any asset purchases away from MBS and toward Treasury securities….

….In their discussion of monetary policy for the period ahead, all but one member judged that a highly accommodative stance of monetary policy was warranted in order to foster a stronger economic recovery in a context of price stability. The Committee agreed to continue purchases of MBS at a pace of $40 billion per month and purchases of longer-term Treasury securities at a pace of $45 billion per month, as well as to maintain the Committee’s reinvestment policies….”

In the Q&A following the release of the FOMC minutes, Ben Bernanke commented that if economic conditions continue to improve, that bond purchases could be tapered by the next Fed meeting in June or July. This caused mortgage rates to trend higher… and today, that trend is continuing.

If you’ve been considering refinancing at a historic low rate, you may want to take action soon! Once the Fed stops manipulating mortgage rates, they’ll be closer to current jumbo/non-conforming rates.

I’m happy to help you with your refinance or purchase on your home located anywhere in Washington state.

What May Impact Mortgage Rates this Week: May 13, 2013

Mortgage rates, although still very low, are trending higher this morning following stronger than expected Retail Sales data and concerns over the Fed ceasing QE3 sooner than expected. In addition, the stock markets have been reaching new highs which typically translates to higher mortgage rates as investors trade the safety of bonds (like mortgage backed securities) for the potentially higher return found in stocks. Currently mortgage rates are about 0.125% higher in rate than where they were on Friday evening.

Here are a few of the economic indicators scheduled to be released this week:

Monday, May 13: Retail Sales

Wednesday, May 15: Producer Price Index (PPI) and Empire State Index

Thursday, May 16: Consumer Price Index (CPI); Housing Starts; Initial Jobless Claims; Building Permits; and Philadelphia Fed Index

Friday, May 17: Consumer Sentiment (UoM)

When QE3 ends and the Fed discontinues their bond buying program which has been keeping mortgage rates artificially low, we will see mortgage rates trend higher. It’s estimated that rates will be closer to what non-conforming/jumbo rates currently are.

If you’re interested in a rate quote for your home located in Burien, Bothell, Bellingham or anywhere in Washington state, where I’m licensed, click here.

What the Fed Said

This morning the FOMC Minutes from last months meeting and it’s causing a stir in the bond markets. The minutes reveal some members of the Committee wanting to pull back on the purchasing of mortgage backed securities by the end of this year. Mortgage interest rates are based on MBS (bonds) and the indication of no longer having the Feds hand in keeping mortgage rates artificially low is causing the bond market to be slightly off this morning.

Here are some “minute bits” relating to mortgage interest rates that I found interesting:

“The staff also reported on potential risks to financial stability, including those associated with the current low interest rate environment. Some observers have suggested that a lengthy period of low long-term rates could encourage excessive risk-taking that could have adverse consequences for financial stability at some point in the future….

Participants generally saw conditions in the housing market as having improved further over the intermeeting period. Rising house prices were strengthening household balance sheets by raising wealth and by increasing the ability of some homeowners to refinance their mortgages at lower rates. Such a dynamic was seen as potentially leading to a virtuous cycle that could help support household spending and financial market conditions over time….

…most participants saw asset purchases as having a meaningful effect in easing financial conditions and so supporting economic growth. Some expressed the view that these effects had likely been stronger during the Federal Reserve’s initial large-scale asset purchases because that program also helped support market functioning during the financial crisis. Other participants, however, saw little evidence that the efficacy of asset purchases had declined over time, and a couple of these suggested that the effectiveness of purchases might even have increased more recently, as the easing of credit constraints allowed more borrowers to take advantage of lower interest rates….

Participants generally agreed that asset purchases also have potential costs and risks. In particular, participants pointed to possible risks to the stability of the financial system, the functioning of particular financial markets, the smooth withdrawal of monetary accommodation when it eventually becomes appropriate, and the Federal Reserve’s net income….

to the extent that asset purchases push down longer-term interest rates, they potentially expose financial markets to a rapid rise in those rates in the future, which could impose significant losses on some investors and intermediaries….

Overall, most meeting participants thought the risks and costs of additional asset purchases remained manageable, but also that continued close attention to these issues was warranted. A few participants noted that curtailing the purchase program was the most direct way to mitigate the costs and risks….

Want more? You can read the minutes from the March FOMC meeting here.

What we do know is where mortgage interest rates are today… which is what I refer to as “artificially” low thanks to the Fed.  

It’s a limited opportunity for home owners to refinance and to create more cash flow (especially considering the increase in payroll tax) and to reduce the interest paid on their mortgage and for home buyers to secure a long term low mortgage rate on their next home.

If you are considering buying or refinancing a home located in Redmond, Renton, West Seattle or anywhere in Washington state, I’m happy to help you!

Mortgage rate update for the week of February 25, 2013

This week is packed with economic indicators that may impact the direction of mortgage interest rates. Mortgage rates have been slowly inching higher since the end of last year. Rates are still very low and you can still get a 30 year in the 3’s – the rate just cost more than it did a month ago.

Here are a few of the economic indicators scheduled to be released this week:

Tuesday, February 26: S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index, New Home Sales and Consumer Confidence

Wednesday, February 27: Durable Goods Orders and Pending Home Sales

Thursday, February 28: Initial Jobless Claims, GDP – Gross Domestic Product and Chicago PMI

Friday, March 1: Personal Consumption Expenditures and Core PCE, ISM Index and Consumer Sentiment Index (UoM)

Tomorrow, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke will be in front of Congress to begin his two day testimony on monetary policy. In addition, $85 billion in automatic budget cuts are set to go into effect on Friday unless Congress takes action.

Remember, mortgage rates are based on mortgage backed securities (bonds) and when stocks are performing, mortgage rates tend to rise. This is because investors will trade the safety of bonds for the possible higher return available from stocks.

The only way to secure today’s mortgage rate is by locking it! You can see examples of “live” mortgage rates I’m quoting by following me on Twitter @mortgageporter or Facebook/WashingtonMortgagePro.

If I can help you with your refinance or home purchase on property located anywhere in Washington state, please contact me.