A Brand-New RateWatch

So I made RateWatch a videocast.  Approximate text is below.  But I beg you – send me an email (chris@lehilender.com) or make a comment and let me know what you think.  Good idea?  Good idea but bad execution?  You don’t have to be gentle.

Let’s get to it.

MARKET: the market is down a bit today, off about 25 basis points.  For those just joining us – hey there, Tyler, Corrine, and Taylor – what that means is that the bond we track, the FNMA 4.5% 30-year bond – is being sold off and its price is declining.  It also means that the yield on that bond is rising.  Since lenders hedge their lending by buying those bonds, when the yields on them rise, mortgage rates rise with them.  So today mortgage rates are increasing.  Not very much, but a little.  More than we’ve seen in a month.

ANALYSIS: Markets rise and markets fall.  The big news over the past few weeks has been the increasing probability that we’ll see a market slump over the last half of the year and into next year.  There is also a real fear that next year could be truly ugly.  With the Bush tax cuts sunsetting on January 1, businesses will be moving their cashflow into the latter half of this year to avoid the explosive tax increase.  Dividend taxes nearly triple, which will be terrible for pension funds, and every single tax bracket will see tax increases.

Anyone that thinks that won’t have a huge negative impact on economic growth is not a serious person.  There is a chance – really, a pretty good one – that Congress will do something about an extension for part of the cuts, especially those that will have the smallest economic, but largest political, impact.  As of this moment, however, it doesn’t seem a good time to invest in stocks.  Bonds, as a result, have been flourishing, driving interest rates to 4.5% and even lower on some programs.

ACTION: We may have hit the bottom of this trench in mortgage rates.  Those of you that have been thinking now might be a good time to buy, now might be a good time to buy.  For refinances, I’m willing to go out on a limb and say it’s now or never.

Until next time, we’ll keep up the RateWatch.


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