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Specter of QE Looms Over Mortgage Rates
Jun 19, 2013

Rates on the most popular types of mortgages moved in opposite directions according to's Weekly Mortgage Rates Radar. The average rate for conforming 30-year fixed-rate mortgages fell by two basis points (0.02 percent) to 4.06 percent, breaking a six-week rise. Conforming 5/1 Hybrid ARM rates increased by six basis points, closing the Wednesday- to-Tuesday wraparound weekly survey at average 2.86 percent. "It's all up to the Federal Reserve at this point," said Keith Gumbinger, vice president of "Signals about the fate of the Fed's quantative easing program will hopefully be revealed at the end of the FOMC meeting today, but the message there may be as ambiguous as the economic data has been lately." The Federal Reserve is expected to begin to taper its purchases of Mortgage-Backed Securities (MBS) and Treasury bonds before the year is out, but speculation has grown that it will come sooner, prompting the recent spike in mortgage rates. Mortgage rates rose from near-record lows in early May to a high, just last week, not seen in more than a year. "Depending upon how clear the message is today about the fate of QE3, the pause in mortgage rate increases may be brief," said Gumbinger. "However, we think any details about the Fed's plans will be vague, as they may want more data to assess any damage done to home sales or refinancing--as a result of the recent run-up in mortgage rates--before making any changes to the program." Average mortgage rates and points for conforming residential mortgages for the week ending June 18, according to Conforming 30-year fixed-rate mortgage Average rate:   4.06 percent Average points: 0.24 Conforming 5/1-year adjustable-rate mortgage Average rate:   2.86 percent Average points: 0.17 Average mortgage rates and points for conforming residential mortgages for the previous week ending June 11 were, according to Conforming 30-year fixed-rate mortgage Average Rate:   4.08 percent Average Points: 0.26 Conforming 5/1-year adjustable-rate mortgage Average Rate:   2.80 percent Average Points: 0.17
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