Thursday, December 31, 2009

Looking Ahead at Mortgage Rates

The NY Federal Reserve is, and has been, the biggest buyer of Mortgage-Backed Securities for all of 2009. This helps push mortgage rates lower, and that's why they allotted for a 1.25TN budget over a 15 month period. It is set to expire at the end of Q1 2010.

This week, their purchasing volume is down significantly. ~9BN this week. For the past few months, they had been closer to 16BN per week, and a few months earlier they were consistent at 25BN per week.

It makes sense that as they near the end of their budget, they will slow the volume. Otherwise, their departure from the market would create a demand vacuum.

Many speculate that mortgage rates will quickly return to the levels that predated the Fed buying campaign. But I don't think it will be that severe - that environment had a number of different dimensions that do not apply today. That said, it's helpful to note what has happened to rates this week (up) as the Fed's buying changed (down).

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