From the FOMC press release:
“The Federal Open Market Committee decided today to establish a target range for the federal funds rate of 0 to 1/4 percent….
As previously announced, over the next few quarters the Federal Reserve will purchase large quantities of agency debt and mortgage-backed securities to provide support to the mortgage and housing markets, and it stands ready to expand its purchases of agency debt and mortgage-backed securities as conditions warrant. The Committee is also evaluating the potential benefits of purchasing longer-term Treasury securities.
…In a related action, the Board of Governors unanimously approved a 75-basis-point decrease in the discount rate to 1/2 percent.”
Mortgage rates should continue to improve with the purchase of MBS. This is why you need to do as Kenneth Harney recommends in this Sunday’s paper:
“Ask your broker or loan officer whether you can lock in today’s rate but still have the ability to move down should cheaper money become available to you.
Not all lenders can accommodate such requests. Some brokers offer 60-day locks with that option; others may charge you”.
The FOMC cut the Funds Rate another 0.25% to 2.00% based on an 8-2 vote. Remember, this does not mean that the 30 year fixed rate is now 0.25% lower. This does mean that if you have a HELOC that is attached to Prime (and it’s not fixed), your rate will go down 0.25%. Prime will be reduced to 5.00%.
The FOMC also reduced the Discount Rate 0.25% to 2.25%.
The Fed Statement regarding today’s rate cuts will have a more dramatic impact mortgage rates (mortgage backed securities).
“Recent information indicates that economic activity remains weak. Household and business spending has been subdued and labor markets have softened further. Financial markets remain under considerable stress, and tight credit conditions and the deepening housing contraction are likely to weigh on economic growth over the next few quarters….
The Committee expects inflation to moderate in coming quarters, reflecting a projected leveling-out of energy and other commodity prices…”
The 0.25% rate cut was highly anticipated and all ready priced into the market. We’ll see how bonds react once the markets have a chance to absorb the statement and Fed actions today. This week will remain very volatile with rates…tomorrow is loaded with economic indicators and Friday, we have the big daddy: The Jobs Report.