RateWatch 17 Feb – Just Hang On

Markets: We’re off 12bps, which is a bit less than what we gained yesterday.  Rates hang out right at 5% (fractionally more on some programs, fractionally less on others).  SOmething interesting to note: the 15-year loans are operating at their biggest spread in a decade – the 15 year fixed loan is currently selling at 4.25% and better, depending on your credit and equity position.

Analysis: We talked about this last time (and here as well, in greater depth), there just isn’t any good reason to believe that much is going to change here.  I got some push-back on my contention that politics is driving the market at the moment, but I’m sticking to my guns here.  Even if Obama is indifferent to a second term (and I’m not convinced that he is, all protestations to the contrary), the driver on this stuff is Congress, more than the President.  The retirement of Evan Bayh of Indiana is a black, black sail for the Democrats.  Having spent 25 years in the political arena, I’m quite sure that most of the sitting Congressmen want to keep their jobs, and that usually means tossing bread to the plebs as they go to the polls.  That argues against fiscal restraint and higher interest rates.  I’m just saying.

NEXT year, well, that’s a different story.  And please let me emphasize, I’m no prophet.  I’m just telling you what I think, and freely acknowledge that I’m often wrong.  But I’m never slow on the trigger, so right or wrong, you’ll have the benefit of someone watching what’s happening in the markets while you do the real work out there.

Action: The tax credit expires on April 30 if you do not have a home under contract.  Call your Realtor and get cracking.  The FOMC stops buying mortgage-backed securities in 42 days.  That’s going to have SOME impact on rates, and it isn’t likely to be good (although, as argued, I don’t think it will be very big).  Move expeditiously.  That is all.

Cj

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