|A Look Into the Markets|
|As we enter the second half of 2021, we want to review where we are with the economy, rates, and what to look for in the second half of the year. The 10-year note yield, a proxy for long-term rates, is hovering near 1.45%, matching multi-month lows. This has helped keep mortgage rates near 3%, below many economist expectations.
What happened? Why are rates still low, providing yet another opportunity for would-be homeowners? The bond market is forward-looking and is seeing slower progress on the job creation front. At the moment, there are still over 9M job openings, a record high. Additionally, while fears of higher and sustained inflation are all over the place, the bond market is currently telling us the fears are misguided. If future inflation is to be higher and persistent, rates would already be creeping higher.
This does not mean it’s clear sailing ahead for continued low rates. Over the next couple of months, we will be watching both the inflation a nd jobs data to determine when the Fed might start tapering bond purchases.
There are rumors amongst Wall Street that the Federal Reserve will start tapering mortgage bonds purchases first, meaning they will gradually buy fewer bonds. When the Fed mentions they will start buying less, that may be the start to higher mortgage rates. The main reason is mounting pressure to start buying fewer bonds and ultimately stop buying them all together, which means rates in the second half of 2021 are likely to be higher than they are right now.