RateWatch 5 August 2010 – FHA Fee Shift?

Welcome to RateWatch for Thursday, August 05, 2010.  Here’s what’s happening:

Employment again is the news of the day, with new claims up another 20,000 or so to 479,000.  Continuing claims were down, though, to 453,700.  That was not as far down as the markets were expecting, however, and that’s meant that bonds have stayed strong.

Not too strong, though.  There really is no upside here.  Unless we get a truly shocking number tomorrow from the unemployment people, showing unemployment at, say 10.5%, there just isn’t any confidence in the bond market to cause a buying wave.

What that means for rates: nothing.  We’re down 6bps, which might just as well be flat.  There is no upside without huge news, and no downside because what news there is is bad.  So we’re hanging out with rates in the 4.5% range.

Anything else?: yep.  Sure is.  The big news today comes out of Washington, surprise surprise, with the Senate passing a bill that changes FHA fees.  Up-front MI will move from the current 2.25% down to 1%, a positive change, but more than made up for by the increase in monthly MI from an annual .55% to .9%, and the FHA gets authority to go all the way to 1.5%.

Bottom line: on a $200,000 loan, you are paying right now $4500 in UFMIP and $91.66/mo in monthly MI.  When these changes take effect, you’ll be paying $2000 UFMIP but $150/mo in MI.  For more commentary on that, see the blog at thechrisjonesgroup.com.

I’m Chris Jones, aka Agent Zero.  That’s RateWatch for today.  Until next time, we’ll be watching the rates.

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