Monday, February 15, 2010

Predictions on Mortgage Rates after the Fed Stops Buying

by Bill McBride on 2/15/2010 03:51:00 PM

From Carolyn Said at the San Francisco Chronicle: Mortgage rates poised to jump as Fed cuts funds. The following predictions are excerpts from her article:

  • Guy Cecala, publisher of Inside Mortgage Finance. "My opinion is that rates will go up a full percentage point initially," meaning that 30-year fixed conforming loans, now hovering around 5 percent, would hit 6 percent.

  • Keith Gumbinger, vice president of HSH Associates, which compiles mortgage loan data, thinks that rates will slowly rise to about 5.75 percent after the Fed withdraws.

  • Julian Hebron, branch manager at RPM Mortgage's San Francisco office, anticipates a bump up to around 5.5 percent by summer ...

  • Christopher Thornberg, principal at Beacon Economics in Los Angeles [said] "Clearly, when they stop printing all that money, it's going to be a shock to the system. I have to assume that when they pull back on it, it will cause a 100- to 200-basis-points rise" to rates of 6 percent or 7 percent ...
  • And a couple earlier predictions:
  • Eric S. Rosengren, president and chief executive of the Boston Fed, expects a 50 to 75 bps increase.
  • Pimco's Bill Gross expects about a 50 bps increase. He also thinks the Fed will restart the program later in 2010.

    My own estimate is for an increase in the spread - relative to the 10 Year Treasury - of about 35 bps (maybe 50 bps).