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Mortgage Mirror

The upside to chaos

Chaos in Washington is keeping a lid on mortgage rates, which contributes to affordability. The firing of FBI director Comey and the ongoing Russia probes have put pressure on the Trump administration, which in turn has added a touch of volatility to the market. Stocks suffered their worse one-day decline in May, dropping more than 300 points. The drop in equities has helped mortgage bonds/rates, which have ticked down to some of the best levels of 2017. Shortly after the election, the 30-year fixed rate moved up to approximately 4.5 percent, but now has moved down into the low 4s. ...

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Hold your horses!

  Just when we think that higher mortgage rates are in the bag, we receive some game-changing news. Lackluster economic data, geopolitical disruptions and comments from President Trump regarding the Fed have us wondering what will come next. On the first Friday in April, the jobs report showed a disappointing 98,000 jobs created, far less than the 180,000 that were expected. Adding to that, the February and January jobs numbers were also revised down. The actual unemployment number came down from 4.7 to 4.5 percent, but those figures are the result of a household survey. I find the jobs-creation number ...

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The Fed does the expected, but what’s next?

Mid-March marked the first time that the Federal Reserve raised its rate in 2017. In bumping the rate up .25 percent, they noted that the economy is doing well and that we are approaching full employment. The bond market’s reaction to the move was surprisingly positive. We saw treasury and mortgage rates go down slightly that day, which is contrary to what we would have expected. Experts say that happened because the interest-rate increase was widely expected by the markets and it also signaled that the Fed is staying ahead of the inflation curve. When Chairwoman Janet Yellen was asked ...

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Adjustable Rate Mortgages are back

ARMs, or adjustable rate mortgages (mortgages that do not have a fixed rate), can be scary, but if you stay within your time line, it can save borrowers a lot of money when rates are on the rise. The most popular adjustable rate mortgages are the 5/1 ARM with 5/2/5 Caps, Margin 2.25, and the 7/1 ARM with 5/2/5 caps, Margin 2.25. What his means is that the payment will be spread over 30 years but the rate will be fixed for the first 5 or 7 years. Once the fixed time frame is over, the mortgage will adjust annually ...

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Rates rise with consumer confidence

  Jan. 25, 2017, was a historic day in the equity markets. The Dow Jones Industrial Average broke the 20,000 mark for the first time in history, and all that optimism has put upward pressure on mortgage and treasury rates. Since the election, mortgage rates have jumped by almost 1 percent. The markets (both stock and bond) are expecting great results from what the new administration will bring to the table. Rates have moved up because of better-than-expected economic news and the potential of higher wages and higher inflation, both of which are needed to sustain real estate prices increase. ...

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The Fed “busts a move”

For the second time in nearly a decade, the Federal Reserve raised short-term interest rate, this time by .25 percent. The move was widely expected, as the futures markets had predicted in the last few weeks that there was a 100 percent probability that the Fed would raise rates. The bond market was not happy about Fed Chair Janet Yellen’s comments after the move. Bonds were caught off guard because the Fed changed their forecast for raising rates in 2017 from two increase to three. Although Yellen stated that any future moves would be data dependent, the market was caught ...

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Mortgage rates jump after Trump victory

  Mortgage rates jumped by more than half a percent in the wake of the win by President-Elect Donald Trump. On the night of the election, as it became more and more apparent that Mr. Trump was going to win, the stock futures, an indicator of where the Dow Jones might open the next, was down 800 points, which indicated that rates would also drop. When the market opened the day after the election, the market started out flat and ended the day up over 250 points. This was almost a 1,100 swing relative to the projections. Mortgage and treasury ...

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All eyes are on the Fed this December

    December seems to be the month the Fed is most comfortable with. They raised short-term rates in December 2015 for the first time since 2006 and now it looks almost certain that they will raise them again in December 2016. Last year was interesting in that all rates moves up prior to the Fed raising rate in December but in the months following the hike, mortgage and treasury rates actually fell. Mortgage and treasury rates move up or down based on economic reports. The months following last year’s hike showed that economic indicators were average at best and ...

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The Fed stays the course on rates

    The Federal Reserve decided not to raise rates at their September 20-21 meeting, citing a lack of inflation and point out that the overall economy is moving at a steady pace and not overheating. The vote was 7-3 within the Fed not to raise rates. While there were some strong opinions from the three Fed presidents in favor of a rate hike, Chairwoman Janet Yellen cited that employment was in check and there was not a need at this time to make a move. The futures markets had only placed a 12 percent chance that the Fed would ...

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Rates experience a Brexit retreat

  “The British are coming! The British are coming!” Those are the immortal words that Paul Revere’s called out in 1775 as the British troops were coming arrest Samuel Adams and John Hancock. But in 2016, the British are leaving, the British are leaving. Leaving the European Union. The Brexit vote that occurred in June surprised many in the financial services industry, with experts anticipating a vote that would leave Britain in the European Union. This spooked the equity market, triggering a 900-point drop in the two days after the vote. But the equity market’s loss was the mortgage market’s ...

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