Thursday, May 21, 2009

Just Stop Waiting for the Perfect Rate

We speak to dozens of folks that are some way or the other waiting for rates to get lower than the 5% 5Y or 5.75% 30Y Fixed 2 million dollar jumbo they were quoted. Of course, who doesn't want a lower cost on something. Especially a budget item that represents roughly 20-30% of household income. But several factors could make waiting a disaster.

  1. Home values continue to fall and your equity is diminished thus resulting in cash required to close. Primarily because loan to value levels in general within the jumbo mortgage market require at least 20% or more equity. Depends on the loan amount and the city/state.

  2. The dollar and US based interest rates start to move higher because of a global view that the US is a riskier place to invest/lend. This has started to happen in the last few weeks. The US Dollar vs a global basket of other curriences has started to fall:

The value of the dollar rose nicely after the currency was viewed as a safe haven in Jan till March. Then the full breadth and scope of the recession(newpression?) plus the enormous costs of the bailouts investors(our creditors) began to move away from holding dollars and investing funds in US invesments.

3. The third largest risk is that all the government borrowing by countries around the world crowd out and soak up funds that normally would be put to work in the mortgage market. Here is the chart for what the US Treasury 10Y is currently going for:

Now, this isn't a disaster yet but today the US Government is having to pay 3.35% for ten year money vs about 2.50% range less than eight weeks ago. The enormous stimulus that congress passed has to be paid for right? The US goverment doesn't have any money. We basically have a line of credit with the rest of the world sitting at 11-12 TRILLION dollars owed now. This works out to about 37k for every man, woman and child in this country. See more here.

If investors/lenders decide that the US is a big credit risk then regular mortgage borrowers could be painted with the same brush and see much higher mortgage rates in the future. If you don't believe me and you want someone with some weight how about the manager of the largest bond group in the world? They manage about $750 billion.

If you don't want to play the jumbo mortgage rate casino game anymore with your house, Contact our office or another mortgage professional and get something done. It is better to lock and be wrong than to ride the interest rate rollercoaster in the coming years and regret it.