Rates have been rising rapidly in 2022 in general as the market quickly repositions for a big shift in Fed policy. The Fed sets short term rates and buys longer term bonds. Both actions impact rates across the board. In the past 6 months, the Fed simultaneously indicated it would need to hike rates faster AND reduce its bond purchases much more aggressively than the last time it shed bonds from its balance sheet in 2017-2019. There have been several “bumps” along the way since late 2021 where the Fed has essentially given markets a wake-up call about even more aggressive policy tightening. The most recent bump was from Fed Chair Powell two weeks ago. It resulted in rates spiking to nearly 5%. Last week offered a bit of a lull and markets hoped that rates might finally be leveling off. Now today, we have another bump from Fed Vice Chair Brainard. She’s typically more rate-friendly than other Fed members, but today she offered a blunt reminder that Fed bond buying would be winding down significantly more and significantly faster than last time. With tomorrow bringing the release of the Minutes from the most recent Fed meeting (a more detailed account of all of the voices within the Fed as opposed to the carefully worded policy statement), markets are on edge about just how troublesome that conversation may have been for the rate outlook. Is the Fed planning more “bumps” and simply pacing themselves? That’s the concern pushed mortgage rates up and over 5.0% today.
Mortgage Rates Slightly Lower to Begin New Week Mortgage Rates Surged to New Highs Before Recovering Moderately