Realty Check

The Fed’s Move and Your Mortgage

So I’ve been calling around to find out what today’s move by the Federal Reserve -- pumping all that money into the financial markets -- will mean to John and Jane Doe on Main St., out shopping for a mortgage:

Greg McBride,

It will not be measured today or tomorrow or next week. The success is going to be measured over many months. Right now there’s not an active market for a lot of securities; the root is in mortgages. What the Fed is doing is accepting a broader range of mortgage-backed securities as collateral in an effort to pump liquidity in the markets in the hopes that that helps ease the strains we’ve been experiencing for the past seven months.

It doesn’t really affect refis or loan modifications. It’s all about the spread between mortgage rates and treasury yields. It may provide a short-term psychological boost.


Stephen East, Pali Research

On the home builders, there will be some initial excitement. I think it gives them a short-term positive benefit, but longer term you have to have a continuation of that thought process by the Fed to break free the mortgage finance market.

Howard Glaser, Mortgage Consultant

In terms of real world impact, it will lower financing costs for Fannie and Freddie; that should be passed on to consumers. The real impact is stopping the bleeding of overall stability of the mortgage markets. Everyone's asking: is it enough?

This is much more about potential breakdown of the MBS market and the disaster that would impose on the housing market.

This is the next best closest thing to an explicit federal guarantee of Fannie and Freddie. The Fed has crossed an important bridge.

Questions?  Comments?