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Tuesday, March 21, 2017

"Mortgage Rates at 2 Week Lows"

by Calculated Risk on 3/21/2017 10:03:00 AM

From Matthew Graham at Mortgage News Daily: Mortgage Rates at 2 Week Lows Amid Political Uncertainty

Mortgage rates were steady-to-slightly lower today, keeping them in line with the lowest levels in 2 weeks and very close to the lowest levels of the month.  For most lenders, that means conventional 30yr fixed rate quotes of 4.25% on top tier scenarios.  Some lenders are still up at 4.375% and an aggressive few are back down to 4.125%.

Last week, we discussed the motivations for the rate improvements in detail.  To recap: longer-term rates like mortgages had already risen in anticipation of the Fed rate hike.  It wasn't a surprise.  Instead, markets were focused on the Fed's forward-looking rate hike forecasts, which came out slightly slower than markets expected.  Thus, rates were overly-prepared for a fast rate hike timeline and had some room to return to early March levels.

From there, attention has turned to fiscal uncertainty as several policy objectives of the Trump administration have run into roadblocks.  Specifically, investors are concerned that tax cuts will be significantly delayed as the health care debate seems to be front and center.  The expectation of tax cuts (and other fiscal measures) was a major contributor to the move higher in rates and stocks after the election.  To whatever extent those measures are delayed, investors can easily question if rates and stocks are higher than they should be. 
emphasis added
Here is a table from Mortgage News Daily: