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Jason Obradovich - Chief Investment Officer

30 Year Fixed – 2.990% / 3.180% APR   15 Year Fixed – 2.250 /2.606% APR   FHA 30 Year Fixed – 2.625% / 3.487% APR   VA 30 Year Fixed – 2.625% / 3.094% APR

Rates are current as of 9:00AM PST on 04/12/2021 | View Disclosures

Housing Market News & Updates

Translating the complexity of the markets into a concise and easy to digest format. Watch videos, read blogs, and view key data on short and medium term trends impacting interest rates, so you can make the right decision for your situation.

Latest Market Update

Short-Term Rates Vs. Long-Term Rates

 

Alexis: Hey, everybody. Welcome back to the Mortgage Rundown. I'm Alexis Quinney, here with Jason Obradovich, CIO of New American Funding. How have you been, Jason?

Jason: You know, doing pretty well. Things been busy, but great. How about yourself?

Alexis: Pretty good. Pretty good. So, a few questions for you. The Federal Reserve met last week and made a lot of announcements, so I wanted to get some clarity from you. Will mortgage rates increase in 2021?

Jason: Boy, you just start with the toughest question. The Federal Reserve did meet last week. They talked about rates. Obviously, for all of us and the mortgage banking universe have seen mortgage rates have gone up a lot over the last couple of months. But the Fed said, ‘Look, we're still on hold. We're not planning on raising rates for a couple of years. A few of them came out and said, “Well, maybe the end of 2023 as opposed to definitely not in 2023.” And so, I think the market had a little bit of reaction to that. The market did have some reaction to the fact that the Fed said, ‘Look, inflation is higher in the short term, but we don't expect it to keep climbing.’ So, this whole idea of why rates are going up right now because of this anticipation of higher inflation is not going to happen. They said, ‘Look, the long-term trend for the last 25 years has been inflation has not been an issue. That's the problem of the 80s and 70s, not in the 2020s.’

Alexis: Yeah, makes sense. OK, so what about the next few years, what can we expect to see there?

Jason: That's where it gets a little bit tougher. Right? Because the feds saying, ‘Look, we're not raising rates this year. Mortgage rates have gone up. We're not going to raise it for a couple of years. We'll keep watching the economy. There are some structural issues where the economy is not going to fully recover for quite a while from the damage of the pandemic. Certainly, in certain industries, it's done really well for the pandemic and other areas structurally. And it takes a long time for some of those other structural things to work themselves out. So, the Fed’s saying, ‘Look, we're not raising rates. Nobody needs to panic. We're going to be here to support the economy and we'll just play it by ear. But don't expect anything for a few years.’

Alexis: OK, and I don't mean to backtrack here, I guess it's just a little confusing because rates are currently going up, but it sounds like you're saying they're not going to go up. So, what does that really mean?

Jason: Yes. So there always is some confusion. Right? People hear ‘Hey, the Fed's raising rates. The Fed's not raising rates? Rates are going up.’ It's like now when the Fed is talking about raising rates, they're talking about short-term rates, that overnight rate, the one-day rate. When we talk about mortgage rates, we're talking about 10-, 20- or 30-year rates that are very, very different things. And so, what happened, starting in the middle of January is people start worrying about inflation. Do you want to own a 10-year Treasury bond for 10 years that yields less than 1% when inflation might be 2.5, 3%? You're actually losing money by holding a bond that earns less interest than inflation. And so, the Fed’s saying, ‘Look, we're not going to touch short-term rates.’ The long-term rates that they don't control, you know, a lot of that's the market dynamics. Right? A lot of the traders, hedge funds, people that own treasuries, people that are now shorting Treasuries because they don't want to own some of these. That is what's really impacting mortgage rates. And so, I'm going to put a graph on your screen where you can actually see the difference between short-term rates and long-term rates. And generally, there's always a spread between them. And you might be one hundred basis points, which is 1%. But if you look recently, the gap between short-term rates and long-term rates is as high as it's ever been in, I think, three or four years. So, this inflation expectation is that gap. So that's why when I say the Fed hasn't touched rates, they're near zero, but mortgage rates are going up, it's because of that gap.

Alexis: Got it. All right. It's a little confusing, but it makes sense. You just got to know when you explain it in terms like that.

Jason: So, yeah, it's hard to explain. I think just to someone who's not familiar with the market, what a yield curve is. And the yield curve, when if you hear that term, it's ‘Hey, look, there are short-term rates, there are medium-term rates and there are long-term rates, and they all move interdependent of each other.’ So, the Fed only touches that overnight rate, but that really does have a downstream impact on some of the longer-term rates. The Fed, when they decided to buy mortgage-backed securities, was buying long-term rates, or trying to buy those rates to get them to go lower. And you might see, you know, we don't know, we might see in the next year. The Fed says, ‘Look, to help the economy, we don't want mortgage rates this high. We need to lower long-term rates because that's really what's affecting the economy.’ Yeah, the short-term rates are low, but a lot of us who have money in our savings account don't like earning 0% interest on those deposits. So, the Fed has to try to balance both. And so, I think that's where they use some of these other tools other than just changing the short-term rate is buying long- term treasuries and buying mortgage-backed securities, help those long-term rates lower.

Alexis: All right. Got it. OK, those are my questions for today. I'm excited for our next episode to see where these rates really end up. But that's all I have for you today.

Jason: OK, great. Yeah, we will just have to see over the next month or so as the economy starts to open up, as the pandemic starts to get a little bit farther behind us, hopefully, to see really what's happening between short- and long-term rates. Maybe we'll see a little bit of a dip, maybe things will stay where they're at. Just a point of identification is that rates today, the 10-year Treasury, is exactly where it was right before the pandemic started. So, we kind of went down and kind of back up. And so, let's just see where we go from here.

Alexis: All right. Well, sounds good. I will talk to you in a few weeks.

Jason: OK, have a great day.

Alexis: You too. Thank you.

Previous Market Update

Inflationary Fears

Alexis: Hey, everybody. Welcome back to the Mortgage Rundown. My name is Alexis Quinney and I'm here with Jason Obradovich, CIO of New American Funding. How have you been doing, Jason?

Jason: Doing well. Very busy, obviously, with the market, but doing well. How are doing yourself?

Alexis: I've been doing good. So, yeah, speaking of the market, there has been an increase in the last few weeks, and I wanted you to provide a little bit of context for our audience here. So, what has been going on with interest rates?

Jason: Yes. So, you know, it has been a very busy last few weeks. One of the things we touched on before was that Treasury rates have been moving higher and pretty much since last August they've gone up…and up almost every single month. But we just haven't seen much in terms of mortgage rates. Well, in the last few weeks, kind of around the beginning of February, we've seen mortgage rates go up and up and up. We've had this fear, this fear of higher inflation that's percolated into the Treasury market, has taken over the Treasury market, and now is starting to creep into mortgage rates. So, there has been a little bit of a market panic over inflation, which is just driving rates higher, hopefully in the short term.

Alexis: Will there be inflation throughout the rest of 2021?

Jason:  You know, that's a good question. I think the market's fearful that there is inflation that's happening right now, and we have a new administration in Washington, D.C. that's talking about all the stimulus, which creates more fears of inflation.

You know, just the rap that all this cash going into the system is going to create inflation. And so, thankfully, Jerome Powell came out yesterday and said, ‘Look, we shouldn't see the kind of inflation that we're worried about for three to four years.’ So, the market is panicking. I think it's excessive by a large degree. But, you know, this happens. This happens. Rates have been low for so long. There's always going to be this period where the market panics about rates. How long are they going to stay this low? And what's going to happen with inflation? And is the economy coming back together?  Are people going back outside again? All these different things.

There's always this natural phenomenon that it happens where people panic the other direction. Once they become so presumptive that something's going to stay, then they get fearful that it's going to change. And so, we're in the middle of that. So, I think there has been a lot of panic. It's a little bit excessive. But, you know, let's see. You know, sometimes these things run for a while. Maybe already at the end of it. We'll see.

Alexis: Yeah, good points. So, you brought up the stock market. What can we expect for the stock market in 2021? 

Jason: You know, stocks and bonds have really...you have to look in the context of what's happening with each of the two. So, what happened in 2020 was the fear of the pandemic itself, the fears around future growth. Everyone piled into the bond market, you know, kind of a race from the stock market. But then a lot of people looked at the tech sector and some of these other sectors and said, ‘Look, do I want to invest in tech stocks which are doing really well during the pandemic because they're not as impacted as say, a restaurant? And/or do I want to invest in bonds that are earning 0.5% for 10 years?

You know what? They're going to take that risk and invest in those types of stocks. And so, you've just had this long run.

Generally, when rates are low, people pile into the stock market because the Fed’s saying, ‘Hey, look, we're going to support this market and it's pretty much pandemic proof.’ You know, that's what's really been proven out.

Is that going to change? You know, it's really hard to say. Tech stocks always go higher and higher and you question valuations and they move higher and higher and you question valuations and they move higher and higher. So, I can't really say necessarily where I think the stock market's going to do. I think you just have to look at the big picture and say the Fed's going to support the market, the Fed's going to support the economy. When do people actually care about valuations? And that's anyone's guess.

Alexis: OK, makes sense. Well, it sounds like a lot of stuff has happened in the last few weeks since we spoke. I'm excited for the next episode to see where we're at in the next few weeks. But is there anything else you wanted to touch on this episode?

Jason: I think people just need to understand there's been some volatility. We don't need to panic too much. Rates have been really low. They still are really low. They just weren't where they were at the beginning of February, the beginning of the year. And we might see a swing the other way. But it's just really a question of timing. The Fed's already said, ‘Look, we're years away from worrying about inflation, but in the short term, markets can be very irrational.’ So, you just have to take that into consideration and just not overreact.

Alexis: Got it. All right. Well, I guess we'll see. That's all I have for you today, and I appreciate the time you took. Thank you so much.

Jason: Great. Have a great day, everyone.

Alexis: Bye bye!

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