Long-term rates are rising today, the all-important 10-year Treasury suddenly above the 3.16-3.28 percent range that gave us sub-5 percent mortgages for the first time since spring. Gone now, pushing 5.125 percent, the 10-year trading 3.37 percent at this moment. Ordinarily, a range breakout like this would signal a run to the top of the old range, 10-year Treasurys testing 4 percent as in summer, mortgages at 5.75 percent. However, nothing in this moment is ordinary -- not remotely predictable with normal tools. In the short-run dynamics of supply and demand, the brief interval of sub-5 percent ignited refinance and purchase mortgage applications -- up 18.2 percent and 13.2 percent, respectively, last week. As there is no private investor demand for mortgages, once borrowers o...
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