If you’ve been following the financial news, you’ve probably heard that the Fed’s been buying Mortgage Backed Securities and will continue to do so as needed. Unfortunately, some media outlets have picked up on the news and mistakenly reported that these purchases will continue to cause rates to drop lower into the summer.But is that really what it means? No.
The truth is, the Fed has been buying Mortgage Bonds. BUT… more precisely, they’re buying a lot of FNMA (Fannie Mae) 30-yr 5.0% and 5.5% Bonds. Many of the mortgages in these pools are outstanding home loans with rates between 6.0% and 6.5%, as the rate that a borrower pays is different than the coupon rate given to an investor buying into that mortgage pool, with the difference being taken by Wall Street firms and government agencies. The loans in these pools the Fed is buying hand over fist are likely be refinanced and paid – because current rates make it very attractive to refinance a loan over 6.0% – and thus giving the Fed a quick recoup on some of their investment.
The Fed’s purchase of higher rate coupons will not necessarily help rates to move lower, as their actions do not impact the loans being originated at today’s low rates.
The Problem Is…
Many consumers are in situations where they can refinance now and save hundreds of dollars a month on their mortgage payments. But when they hear the media throwing around teases of lower rates ahead, they decide to hold off on making the decision to save, in the hopes of gaining a few more dollars of savings per month if a lower rate came their way. Of course, while they’re waiting, rates could turn higher – and this window of opportunity could pass them by entirely.
Here’s the Clincher:
Even if consumers are ultimately able to time the market perfectly and save another few bucks per month, they could still end up losing. That’s because while they delayed, they lost the savings each month they could have gained by taking action sooner. In other words, they may have lost hundreds of dollars for every month they waited. So even if they got lucky and obtained the rate they were looking for, it could take years to make up what they lost by waiting.
Don’t miss an opportunity by either waiting or misunderstanding the media headlines.