RateWatch 29 July 2010 – Carnac Speaks!

Welcome to RateWatch for Thursday July 29, I’m your host, Chris Jones, and here’s what’s happening:

Today’s market: The benchmark bond is up 12bps today.  We’re trading in a very narrow channel.  Economic news today was all about employment, as in, there isn’t much of it.  Unemployment benefits have been extended, so continuing claims were up, which did not surprise anyone.  New claims were down, but not very much.  The recovery continues to fail to do the one thing that would really get the economy moving again – create jobs.

What that means to you: rates are holding steady.  It’s generally acknowledged that banks would like to raise rates, but competition is making that very difficult.  Remember, they don’t make money unless they lend it out to people.  Rates are therefore critical to attracting business.  There’s no central rate-making authority in mortgages.  The banks take their cues from the bond market and from each other.  So today’s rates are in the 4.5% range on conventional and FHA, with 15-year rates in the 4% range.

At some point, obviously, this is going to change.  We’ll have a terrorist attack (which would be mixed for bonds) or we’ll have IBM invent cold fusion (which would be very, very bad for bonds), and the market will break out of this channel and start moving, almost certainly upward.  We are trading right now at the bottom of the historical range, as in, it’s never been this good.  Ever.  So it isn’t as if there is a lot farther down we can go.

How long will it last? That’s the billion-dollar question.  Here’s the answer: NO ONE KNOWS.  Only one thing is certain: rates in this range will go away.  Do not wait to talk to a professional.  You can call us.  That’s what we’re here for.

That’s RateWatch for July 29, I’m your host, Chris Jones.  You can find us at thechrisjonesgroup.com or text us at 801-850-378.

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