Tag Archive for: interest rates

Fed Raises Rates; Mortgage Rates PLUMMET; Why? JVM’s Here to Stay!

JVM’S HERE TO STAY; BACKUP FOR BANKS PULLING OUT JVM was officially founded in 2006, and effectively founded in 1999 under another name by my wife, Heejin – with much of her operation carrying over to JVM in 2006. All this is to say that we are definitely here to stay, as we have ridden […]Read More

Please Do NOT File Your Taxes IF…

PLEASE DO NOT FILE 2022 TAXES IF… You are self-employed and 2022 was a down year. This is a huge reminder to all self-employed borrowers (real estate agents too) to just file an extension for 2022 taxes – IF their income was way down in 2022 AND they want to qualify for competitive mortgage financing […]Read More

Jumbo Loans In Peril Because Of Commercial Bank Issues

EVERYTHING IS FINE…UNTIL IT ISN’T The former owner of RPM Mortgage (now merged with Cross Country) told me about a particularly harrowing ordeal he went through in 2008. His company had locked tens of millions of dollars of loans with the intention of selling them to particular investors when they closed. RPM underwrote and funded […]Read More

Rates Plummet! Barry Was RIGHT! THIS IS HUGE!

WHO THE HELL IS BARRY? Barry Habib is the founder of MBS Highway, a subscription service that thousands of mortgage industry insiders subscribe to at a cost of $120 to $170 per month – and it is worth it! Barry and his team go way out of their way to provide value on every front […]Read More

Why Is The Fed SO DETERMINED To Push Rates Higher? (Not What You Think)

WHAT IS THE UNITED STATES’ MOST POWERFUL WEAPON? 1. It’s Ohio-class nuclear-powered submarines? 2. It’s B83 nuclear bombs? 3. It’s Tomahawk cruise missile? 4. It’s AC-130U gunships? Or 5. It’s Ford-class supercarriers? ANSWER: None of the above. The United States’ most powerful weapon is… the dollar. This is because the bulk of international trade is […]Read More

FHA Rates Even Lower! I Hope Buyers Stay Home :)

BOOMER ERROR! On Friday, I pointed out how FHA rates are now often far better (by over 1%) than Fannie Mae Rates in this blog: FHA Keeps Beating Fannie Mae! And, I tried to impress everyone with an FHA rate quote – that I got wrong! I quoted 6.125% for a no-points loan, but the […]Read More

Rates Climbed 1% in February! Great Opportunity For Buyers!

WHY IS MY CLIENT’S RATE SO HIGH? That is a question we have heard from several agents over the last week. The primary reason is usually just a misunderstanding of just how much rates have risen over the last month – almost 1%! I have included a screenshot of The 30-Year Fixed-Rate Mortgage Chart from […]Read More

Fannie Mae Is Raising Rates for STRONG Borrowers

Approximately 85% of FHA loans are for first-time homebuyers. In contrast, about 50% of Fannie Mae’s and Freddie Mac’s “conforming loans” are for first-time homebuyers. As a quick reminder, FHA loans only require 3.5% down – and they are much more flexible with respect to debt ratios, credit, and other underwriting criteria. Fannie Mae and […]Read More

MBA “Purchase Index” Falls to Lowest Level Since 1995! Panic Time?

Rates have climbed almost a full 1% point since early February, as this Mortgage News Daily Chart indicates. In direct response to this increase in rates, purchase money mortgage applications plummeted – showing once again how sensitive buyers are to interest rates. And – the Mortgage Bankers Association “Purchase Index” (based largely on mortgage applications) […]Read More

The Biggest House Hacking RISK!

RATES KEEP CLIMBING – BUT IT WON’T LAST Rates have been climbing sharply over the last few weeks – ostensibly because the economy remains hot. It won’t last, per Mr. Habib and Mr. Snider. Both remind us again and again that the markets often respond temporarily to Fed comments, Fed narratives, and economic data – […]Read More

Inflation Concerns Push Rates Up – Opposite of My Predictions

Mortgage applications fell precipitously recently in direct response to a rise in interest rates. We have seen the opposite effect too over the last several months in response to falling rates. All this is to say (or prove) that mortgage applications and purchase activity are extremely sensitive to interest rates – surprising many people, including […]Read More


“IF A RECESSION IS COMING, HOW DO YOU EXPLAIN THE STRONG JOBS REPORT?” That was an email I received this morning from the most prominent voice/blogger in the mortgage industry. He is very successful, a great guy, and much more knowledgeable than I am overall, but it is interesting to see how even he follows […]Read More

Deciphering The Terrifying Housing Decline Numbers from Case-Shiller

RATES FALL IN THE FACE OF FED RATE INCREASE Rates fell today even though the Fed will increase “rates” today. I encourage everyone to re-read or re-share this blog: The Fed Does Not Control Interest Rates! BUT – our jumbo rates are largely the same today because the CFPB pushed Wells Fargo out of the […]Read More

The Fed Does NOT Control Interest Rates! Follow the Data Guys!

  The Fed raised “rates” last year at the fastest pace in history! There were 7 “rate” increases in total: 0.25% in March 0.50% in May 0.75% in June 0.75% in July 0.75% in September 0.75% in November 0.50% in December BUT – DESPITE INCREASES TOTALING 1.25% OVER NOVEMBER AND DECEMBER, 30-YEAR MORTGAGE RATES HAVE […]Read More

Inflation DOWN; Rates UP; What Gives? Housing Inventory Still Tight

15 DEGREES LAST NIGHT IN AUSTIN, TX This has nothing to do with mortgages, but I have to share it because I find it so interesting.  Austin saw a low last night of 15 degrees – which is amazing given that Austin is hundreds of miles SOUTH of cities like Phoenix and Los Angeles that […]Read More

Why DEFLATION Is Now Likely and SO SCARY!

HERE’S WHAT’S SCARY: MY NEIGHBOR WAITING TO BUY HIS MERCEDES! You have no idea how scary that is! My neighbor grew up poor in Boston, played college football at the highest levels, and is now a very successful enterprise software salesman. He is also very cheap – so cheap in fact that he went without […]Read More

Inflation Down; Rates Down & More To Come; The Fed Does NOT Control Interest Rates

Inflation (CPI) reports came in lower than expected yesterday – and that pushed rates lower because inflation expectations are probably the biggest single driver of interest rates. According to this tweet by MacroAlf, the lower-than-expected inflation report surprised 65 out of 67 economists surveyed by Bloomberg. It did not, however, surprise Barry Habib or Jeff […]Read More

Commercial Banks Pulling Out Of Jumbo Market; Why & What It Means

Commercial banks are pulling out of the jumbo market rather suddenly – after dominating it for the last year or so. The question is why and what does it mean? When Service Matters We have always been able to crush every commercial bank when it comes to service, as we are far more responsive, we […]Read More

Surge In Contracts, Pre-Approvals, And Returning Clients

Rates fell again today, exactly like macro pundits Jeff Snider and Barry Habib have been predicting for about a year now. Once again – they both told us earlier this year that rates would fall in response to signs of economic weakness and slowing inflation. I make such a big deal about this over and […]Read More

When Great Economic News Is Actually Bad News

I Was Slapped in the Face With Very Good Economic News! For months now, I have been explaining how weak our overall economy is and why that portends much lower interest rates in the near future – no matter what the Fed does. I of course was just repeating what Jim Rickards, Jim Rogers, Stephanie […]Read More

Fannie Mae Made Rates WAY LOWER for First-Time Homebuyers!

In mid-November, both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac made homebuying ridiculously less expensive for many, if not most first-time homebuyers! And – I was remiss for not blogging about it sooner. 13 Factors That Impact Your Interest Rate! I often blog about the 13 Factors that impact someone’s mortgage rate – reminding readers that there […]Read More


BARRY HABIB HATES CNBC’S DIANA OLICK! Mr. Habib is one of the macro pundits I cite very often because he is correct so often. “Hate” may also be too strong of a word, as Mr. Habib is very professional, but he clearly has tremendous disdain for Ms. Olick – and this is why: Ms. Olick […]Read More

Much Lower Interest Rates By March; Why & What It Means

On Thursday, CPI (inflation data) came in lower than expected – and we saw one of the largest one-day rate drops ever. I of course blogged about it here: THIS IS HUGE! Inflation & Rates PLUMMET. My biggest takeaway though wasn’t just that inflation and rates dropped; it was to point out how correct the […]Read More

THIS IS HUGE! Inflation & Rates PLUMMET!

Inflation Came In Cool – Exactly As Barry Habib And Jeff Snider Predicted! In 2021, I told a group of mortgage bankers at a lunch how and why rates were going to shoot past 7% in 2022 – and NONE of them believed me. Despite their pushback, I remained very confident in my position because […]Read More

How Interest Rates Impact Home Values (Not What You Think)

“Jay, How Naïve Are You?” That was the response I got from a past client last spring when I was noting how higher interest rates had not yet impacted home values. I made the further mistake of saying I was not sure how much higher rates would impact values too, in light of all the […]Read More

The Fed Did NOT “Raise Rates 3/4% Yesterday” – Deflation/Lower Rates Coming Soon Part II

The Fed raised rates 75 basis points or 3/4% yesterday – so my rate quote at the bottom of this blog went from 6.0% yesterday to 6.75% today. FALSE!! THAT DID NOT HAPPEN! My rate quote today is the same rate as yesterday’s even though the Fed “raised rates 3/4%” yesterday. I typed the top […]Read More

Why I Am Convinced Rates Will FALL By March

I have myriad acquaintances in the mortgage industry (mortgage bank CEOs even) who insist rates will continue to rise throughout 2023. They tell me I am crazy to think they will fall as early as March – with inflation surging and the Fed on the warpath. They further tell me that the Fed cannot get […]Read More

The Beauty of BUYDOWNS – To Lower Payments & Save Deals

In Friday’s blog, I explained why ARMs are NOT the solution for payment relief (because ARM rates are so close to 30-year rates) in today’s high-rate world. BUT – there is another solution for payment relief that is nothing short of awesome: TEMPORARY RATE BUYDOWNS, aka 3-2-1; 2-1; or 1-0.5 buydowns (NOTE: these are NOT […]Read More

Why ARM Rates Are So Close to 30-Year Rates

Apparently, in 2002, it was “Hot In Herre” – or at least it was according to Nelly. I, however, had no idea because I had never heard the song, and I probably wouldn’t have trusted Nelly’s assessment in any case, given his inability to spell. I bring that up though because yesterday’s rates hit 2002 […]Read More

Are Home Equity Lines (HELOCs) Still A Thing?

The Prime Rate today is 6.25% – a full 3% higher than where it was last year at this time. Prime Rate is the rate that commercial banks charge their most creditworthy customers, usually large corporations. It matters to us though because it is also the rate that most Home Equity Lines of Credit (HELOCs) […]Read More

Why Are Banks Not Paying Higher Rates for Deposits? Why Did Rates Plummet Today Too?

Why Interest Rates Are Rising Everywhere – Except Your Savings Account That was the headline from this recent WSJ article. Back in the 1980s, a general lack of savings in America was one of the many reasons why America was going to collapse, and we were all going to die… This was ostensibly because Japan […]Read More

Are Rates Really Over 7%? Not Really; Rates Up 2% Since August; Surveys Lag Market

Today’s average interest rate is 6.82% per Mortgage News Daily (about 1/2% higher than where they were last week). The average is up almost 2% from early August when it bottomed near 5% – amazingly. The average rate was in fact over 7% yesterday, but they plummeted today (and I will explain why below). The […]Read More

The Fed Raised Rates And Something VERY UNUSUAL HAPPENED!

The Fed raised the Fed Funds Rate yesterday by 0.75% and long-term rates actually increased (a lot) after the announcement. This is very unusual for several reasons: The markets had long anticipated the 0.75% hike and had “priced it in” already. The Fed only controls short-term rates and not long-term (30-year fixed) rates, so long-term […]Read More

Investors Dumping Inventory vs. Mortgage Rate Lockdowns!

BIG PROBLEMS AHEAD FOR REAL ESTATE INVESTORS! That was the title of this tweet from Nick Gerli, a real estate guru on YouTube. He said: “The 6-month US Treasury now yields…the same as Buying & Renting Out a House in America…Translation: Big Real Estate Investor selloff coming. Especially among Wall Street owners.” And, in response […]Read More

Rates at 2008 Levels! When Will Rates Fall?

Mortgage Rates Top 6% for the First Time Since the 2008 Financial Crisis The above is a WSJ headline for this article. Rates are also back to where they were … way back in June and somehow we survived July and August 😊 Rates shot up this week in response to higher than expected inflation […]Read More

Inflation Drives Interest Rates – Except When The Fed Gets Involved

As most people know, inflation drives interest rates because investors do not want to accept yields that are lower than the inflation rate because they will effectively be losing money if they do. If you loan somebody $1,000 for one year at 5%, and inflation is at 8%, at the end of the year, you […]Read More

Fed: “We’re Going to Beat The Shit Out Of You Until Inflation Goes Away”

Fed Chair Powell spoke today in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, in a much-anticipated speech – and it roiled the markets. Here is a brief summary in case readers are interested. CONTINUED RATE INCREASES/0.75% HIKE LIKELY. Powell implied that the Fed is going to continue raising rates aggressively, despite “some pain to households and businesses” (hence my […]Read More

Free Refis Aren’t Free

An agent recently told us he only refers his clients to “one loan officer” because that loan officer “offers a ‘free’ refi to all of his clients in 6 months, if rates fall.” We tried to explain to the agent that there is no such thing as a free refi, and that every lender in […]Read More

History Of Interest Rates Part II (50 Years; 1 Year); Perspective Again!

Several agents have recently requested updates to the History of Interest Rates/Perspective blog I wrote in early May. They of course want to show clients that today’s 4%-ish (jumbo) and 5%-ish rates are really low by historical standards – which is a point I make often. There are two charts below: one shows mortgage rates […]Read More

China’s Banking System Collapse Is Terrifying; Why It Matters

EVERYONE IS FOCUSED ON “FED DAY” – which is the day of the month (today) on which the Fed announces its latest increase in the Fed Funds Rate (expected to be 0.75%, and the market has “priced it in” already). BUT – there is an economic issue brewing overseas that is 100x more momentous and […]Read More

If High Rates Bring Down Housing Prices, Will Low Rates Push Prices Through the Roof Again? Inflation Too!

If higher rates are the sole reason the housing market is softer, will the soon-to-be-here lower rates push prices through the roof again? If that is the case, it is one more reason to buy now to take advantage of today’s slower market, knowing that a refi into a much lower rate is very likely.Read More

Is Inflation “Over?” (and boy does it matter!)

Inflation Is Here To Stay! (or not) After telling us that inflation was transitory or temporary for months in 2021, many if not most economists changed their tune and declared that inflation was here to stay. This is why the Fed changed course so quickly and aggressively this year, and it is largely why interest […]Read More

The “Fed” Does NOT Control Mortgage Rates

The Fed controls the short-term “Fed Funds Rate,” or the overnight rate that banks charge each other. The Fed does NOT control long-term rates like the 10 Year Treasury or 30-year mortgage rates. The Fed can influence long-term rates with its comments and by raising the Fed Funds rate, but it does not have the final say.Read More

Rates Keep Falling & Will Fall More; Timing The Market

Rates fell again primarily in response to negative economic data, including revised data that showed the economy shrunk more than we thought in Q1 along with more recession indicators and predictions. The 10 Year Treasury, which correlates closely to mortgage rates, hovered near 3.5% only a few weeks ago – but it is now under […]Read More

Good News! Recession Coming Soon; Rates Continue to Fall After Fed Raises “The Rate”

A week ago, I pointed out how the recent 0.75% increase in the Fed Funds rate resulted in LOWER long-term rates. I highlighted three reasons for this: (1) The markets perceived the news as effective inflation fighting; (2) the markets expected the news and had priced it in already; and (3) the Fed Funds rate […]Read More

Why The Fed Desperately Wants to TANK the Housing Market!

One of my favorite macro pundits, Alfonso Peccatiello (former $20 billion fund manager who goes by “Alf”) recently tweeted this: “The biggest group of consumers in the US owns houses, not stocks. And this is why taming the animal spirits in the housing market is paramount important for the Fed. And they will succeed…” He […]Read More

Fed Raised Rates & Mortgage Rates Fell – Before Rising Today

The Fed raised the Fed Funds Rate 75 basis points (0.75%) yesterday, and mortgage rates largely fell in response to the news.Read More

High Rates; Softer Market; ARMs; Housing Shortages; Recessions; Refis

Highest Mortgage Rates Since 2009 Last week’s sky-high inflation numbers have pushed 10-Year Treasury rates to levels we have not seen since 2018. While mortgage rates are at levels we have not seen since 2009. Beating A Dead Horse – Again The fast-climbing rates and media rumblings continue to spook buyers – so I am […]Read More

Save Money With Seller-Paid Rate Buydowns Instead of Price Reductions

A “rate buydown” gives borrowers lower interest rates in exchange for higher fees or “discount points” paid up front (when they close). We discourage rate buydowns in general because borrowers rarely hold onto their mortgages long enough to make the extra points or fees worth the added expense. But – if sellers are willing to pay for the rate buydowns, my opinion changes quickly.Read More


“… I remember my first mortgage back in 1982, when my rate was 15%!” said every boomer ever… “… I remember my first mortgage back in 1982, when my rate was 10%!” said my law school professor… The above two comments are huge reminders that homes still sell in even the highest of interest rate […]Read More