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Average fixed and ARM rates. Rate forecasts. Quotes on ARM indexes including COFI, MTA, LIBOR & Treasuries. Rate reset studies and reports. Mortgage rate litigation.

Mortgage Rates to Plummet

Fed to buy $750 billion more in agency MBS

March 18, 2009

By staff

Moves announced today by the Federal Reserve have a key barometer of mortgage rates suggesting long-term mortgage rates will fall below 4.70 percent.

The 10-year Treasury yield plummeted nearly a half percent after the Federal Open Market committee issued a statement that it would purchase another $750 billion in agency mortgage-backed securities. The move is an effort to support the mortgage and housing markets.

The additional purchases will bring this year's purchases to $1.25 trillion. The fed said it would also double its $100 billion in purchases of agency debt.

"The committee will continue to carefully monitor the size and composition of the Federal Reserve's balance sheet in light of evolving financial and economic developments," the statement said.

In late trading, the 10-year Treasury yield was 2.521 percent -- tumbling from 3.02 percent at yesterday's close. The price on the 10-year was up a whopping 4 8/32.

The yield on the 10-year is down around 38 basis points from a week ago -- suggesting that the yield on the 30-year fixed-rate will drop to around 4.65 percent.

The 30-year reached a record low in Freddie Mac's mortgage rate survey for the week ended Jan. 15, when it fell to 4.96 percent -- the lowest level "since Freddie Mac started the Primary Mortgage Market Survey in 1971." The next survey from Freddie is due tomorrow.

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