Contrary to the conviction of deeply confused civilians and reports by lazy news media, mortgage rates are unchanged, about 5.75 percent for the lowest-fee 30-year paper.
If you don't believe me, visit www.freddiemac.com and its weekly survey. It is unbiased by sales jive, although it suffers from "survey lag" (early-week data released on Thursdays always misses real-time reality), and assumes a fractional origination fee. Last week's "5.48 percent" captured the one-day hysterical bottom when the industry could not log onto rate-lock Web sites. Yesterday's "5.68 percent plus 0.4 percent origination" is still about right, and all but identical to the prior week's "5.69 percent plus 0.5 percent."
Yet, the media refer constantly to "dramatically lower mortgage rates." They are better, but ... drama? Freddie's average for the whole of 2007 was 6.34 percent. A half-percent drop is nice for buyers, and a help to a few refinancers, but no fire sale.
"How can it be the same ... !?!" says the client, after a cumulative 1.25 percent cut at the Fed in only eight days?
Read the entire Lou Barnes article at Inman News
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