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Sharpest Rate Spike in More Than a Decade. Here's How The Fed Is (and Isn't) Involved

Mortgage rates are based on movement in the bond market, and bonds have lost ground every day for 8 straight days.   Today was merely the latest in that losing streak.   The weakness was in place from the outset, but it was modest at first.  The average mortgage lender was only 0.02-0.04% higher in rates versus yesterday in effective terms (mortgages are typically offered in 0.125% increments with fine-tuning adjustments seen in closing costs.  “Effective rate” is a term that translates the closing cost changes to a hypothetical interest rate).  At that time of day, lenders (and everyone else for that matter) was waiting to hear the scheduled policy statement from the Federal Reserve.  It was a foregone conclusion that the Fed would hike its policy rate by 0.25%, but other details were a bit of a moving target.  Specifically , this was one of the 4 meetings per year where the Fed publishes updated projections for the Fed Funds Rate (that’s the thing everyone is talking about when they reference hikes or cuts).   The Fed Funds Rate doesn’t have a direct bearing on mortgages or other long term rates, but the outlook for future Fed hikes/cuts can certainly have an impact.  The market was well aware that Fed members would be expecting significantly higher rates than the last round of forecasts showed in December.  When the new forecasts showed a median expectation for SEVEN hikes in 2022 (as opposed to the 5-6 that the average market participant expected), bonds responded with a sharp rise toward higher yields/rates.
Source: mortgagenewsdaily.comNew feed

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