Mortgage rates are fresh off their best week since at least July and their best winning streak (in terms of consecutive days moving lower) in well over a year.  The price of admission happened to be the highest rates in more than 20 years, so the recent improvements were really nothing more than a balancing act.  The past 2 trading days (Friday and today) have helped reinforce that message.  In other words the underlying bond market (which dictates mortgage rates) was simply de-escalating from a more panicked state as opposed to embarking on a new trend toward lower rates.  Any new trend toward lower rates will depend upon inflation and economic data.  To a lesser extent, Fed policy changes can shape trends, but ultimately, if Fed policy is well understood to be a function of inflation and the economy, then we’re right back to watching the data.  The only time the Fed shapes trends in a more noticeable way is when their policy outlook is evolving or changing.  Some market participants think the Fed is close to making a slight course correction that acknowledges economic headwinds.  If this turns out to be the case, we could get some indication of that on Wednesday when the Fed releases the latest policy announcement. To be sure, the Fed will still be hiking its policy rate by 0.75%.  Markets know this and rates have already taken their lumps accordingly.  What markets don’t know is whether Fed Chair Powell is ready to discuss the potential changes in the rate hike trajectory in the next 2 meetings or even give any indication that the Fed feels like it’s getting close to the ceiling for rates.  If we know Powell, he’ll be sure to say “it depends on the data.”

Published On: October 31, 2022 / Categories: Mortgage News /