With the Federal Reserve Lowering Rates, Why Have Mortgage Rates Gone Higher?

As you know the Federal Reserve lowered rates, specifically the Fed Fund was lowered to 0.  This means the bank lending rate has dropped, lowering rates at the street level at tad, but no-where near where they were weeks ago when rates were lower.

Rates are still up because of the following…

  1. Lenders are slammed with so much business. Their turn times are much slower now.  This has caused them all to increase their rates to handle the volume they currently have locked.  By lenders increasing rates, their incoming business slows down allowing them to catch up.  Once they catch up, they typically will lower rates again.
  2. The Corona Virus has forced employees at banks to work from home, slowing down the virus.  Working remotely unless completely set up for this, has caused a slow down of work efficiency causing work delays.
  3. See my response from a few weeks ago below on what a Fed Drop really does*
  4. Lastly, unrelated to rates, County Offices have closed and many appraisers are staying home and not taking on new business.  This will cause further back-ups for lenders and consumers.  We know this is short term (hopefully only a week or so) but this will delay “most” refinances and purchases from closing in the near term.

Update on Rates from a Few Weeks Ago…

Clients are Asking…Why Have Rates Not Gone Down Today?

As you may know the Federal Reserve lowered the Fed Fund by .5% today.  You may be wondering how this will affect interest rates you are seeing for your home mortgage.

I hope the following sheds some light on the subject:

Typically, a Fed cut has no direct effect on mortgage rates.  The Fed Fund (which they lowered) is the overnight lending rate.  Banks charge this to each other when they have a surplus of reserves (deposits) required by the Federal Reserve.  Banks have to keep a certain amount of reserves in relation to their deposits and so when they get more than what they need, they lend out the surplus to other banks that are short in reserves using the Fed Fund Rate.  So what does this mean to you the home owner?

A fed cut like today’s, lowers rates on bank products like car loans, business loans, credit card rates, home equity rates.  Mortgage loans, however are influenced by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, Portfolio Lenders and of course Mortgage Backed Securities and Bonds.  In short, when the Dow or Nasdaq starts falling, investors put their money into MBS’s and Bonds causing mortgage rates to go lower.  When the stock market corrects and starts going back up, these investors quickly move their money back over to equities and mortgage rates we see, typically go up.

Now, the reason we have seen rates drop in the past week or so is due to market uncertainty.  The Corona Virus and its impacts local, national and international markets.  Example, if Apple can’t manufacture cell phones in China due to impact of the Corona Virus, their sales and revenue will significantly drop negatively.  This will affect their stock price and stock market as seen in the last week or so.  The Federal Reserve is worried that this will happen to other industries such as travel, manufacturing, tech, etc so they are being proactive in lowering the Federal Fund Rate.  Eventually this move will filter down to interest rates for home loans, but in the near term it will not as seen last year with 3 Fed Fund drops (last year) only resulting a slight reduction of mortgage rates.

Conclusion…

Rates will definitely go lower, but unfortunately it will take some time to do so based on the factors above.  When rates do drop, we will update you so you can take advantage of the rate and payment savings.  If you would like to get in ready position so you can act quickly when rates do drop, please contact us.

Best Regards,

Rob McCarthy

Senior Mortgage Advisor

www.101Loan.com

rob@101loan.com

408-377-4123 o  650-465-8957 c   408-608-1921 f

101 Loan – 6020 Hellyer Ave #150, San Jose, CA 95138

CA DRE #01165697  NMLS #121019