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Bart Castelli

Mortgage Rates See Substantial Gains

Thursday, September 22, 2016 - Article by: Bart Castelli - Homestar Financial Corporation NMLS #70864 - Message

Mortgage rates made more substantial gains today, after financial markets had more time to react to yesterday's announcement from the Federal Reserve. Although the Fed held its policy rate steady, the bigger story was a sharp downgrade in the longer term rate outlook. In short, the Fed sees interest rates remaining "lower for longer." They increasingly confirm this stance with their updated forecasts. The vibes in markets over the Fed's policy and Yellen's press conference yesterday continue to get a lot of attention. Will the Fed move in Nov? NO. Will the Fed move in Dec? MAYBE. It is always a maybe with the Fed since 2013. One rate increase last December will the accompanying comment the Fed would move four more times this year (that was a Fed comment). Central banks have lost all credibility, nothing the ECB, BofJ or our Fed has worked. Yesterday Yellen was worrying over over-heating while the Fed released its quarterly forecast for GDP until 2019 never exceeding 2.0% and inflation not meeting its 2.0% goals in that time frame.

Frustrating but we have to endure. Now that the FOMC meeting is over Fed officials are now free to speak and we can expect they will be beginning next Monday.

August was one of the worst economic months this year, almost every key economic measurement was lower than expected. Today August existing home sales was added to the list. The August Chicago Fed National Activity index also fell in July. No data tomorrow, so no misses. Markets looking to Monday's presidential debate although whatever the outcome won't confirm anything. Next week I count 10 Fed officials. Key data is going to be August new home sales - will sales meet the optimistic view from NAHB? The final Q2 GDP on Thursday. Treasury will auction 2s, 5s and 7yr notes Monday through Wednesday, and August pending home sales from NAR on Thursday.Holding rate locks still has risk but I will cautiously float as the 10yr is going to test the 1.60% mark.

In summary, markets have digested yesterday's Fed Statement and press conference, and breathed sighs of relief as there were no references to looming inflation or booming economies. Pricing has improved in the last two days, even though not huge, they were positive. Right now floating may not be too bad of an idea if you have your hand on the trigger.

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