AgentIndustry News

Fed caught in economic tug of war

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Inflation data and deepening worries about the Fed's intentions have taken mortgage rates higher again. A one-point loan fee (whether called "origination," or described in plain English) will still get a 5.87 percent 30-year rate, but the low-fee deals are almost to 6.25 percent, up from the March low at 5.37 percent. The adjustable-rate-mortgage market is worse: a point will buy a Fannie/Freddie 5-year at 4.62 percent now, more than a percent north of the March low. The largest purveyor of "portfolio" 5-year hybrids (Washington Mutual) appears to be pricing defensively, as a one-point fee produces a rate approaching 5.5 percent. We should have gotten some relief on word that 1st Quarter GDP rose only 4.2 percent versus expectations of near-6 percent, but the GDP internals included a further up-ramp of the best measures of inflation. The sub-1 percent, 1 percent-ish era has concluded, and given way rather briskly to a 2 percent annualized increase in the "core personal consumption ex...