The Federal Reserve concluded one of its 8 regularly scheduled meetings in 2022 today. As expected, they announced a rate hike of 0.75%. But if you still think that means mortgage rates moved higher, think again. In fact, if you’re not sure why mortgage rates could move lower even though the Fed hiked, you’re better off reading yesterday’s commentary: The Fed Doesn’t Directly Hike/Cut Mortgage Rates. As for today, it was fairly simple. The market wasn’t simply already expecting a 0.75% rate hike. It was a 100% foregone conclusion. The only other option that anyone could argue to be on the table was a 1.00% rate hike, but Fed speakers themselves had already dismissed the idea 2 weeks ago. More importantly (and as the link above explains in detail), the Fed Funds Rate decision has nothing to do with mortgage rates by the time that decision is actually announced. The only exceptions are for the occasions where the market is legitimately unsure about the size of the impending rate change or the extremely rare intermeeting, emergency rate changes. That meant today’s impact on mortgage rates would have to come from the words in the Fed’s policy statement or from Powell himself during the press conference. On that note, Powell set the stage for the Fed to shift gears in the coming months, saying that the Fed Funds Rate was now at neutral levels and the pace of rate hikes may need to slow down in response to economic strain. While he did specify that the shift would depend on data, it was nonetheless notable for being the first time in 2022 that the Fed explicitly discussed the light at the end of the rate hike tunnel.