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Monday July 14, 2008

Fannie and Freddie push the market higher?

Friday’s news about the uncertainty of the future of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac led to a huge sell off in stock for the 2 mortgage giants.  Was it warranted, or just a fearful market overreacting?  That question will probably not be answered today.  But, the Treasury department stepping up to help out lends a little more stability to an uncertain market.

Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and FED Chairman Ben Bernanke have given the green light to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to borrow money directly from the Central Bank at the federal discount rate of 2.25%.  This is significant because it has never happened in the past.  The federal funds discount window has been historically limited to banks and credit unions, but this option being made available to Fannie and Freddie is giving a little boost to the mortgage bond market and mortgage rates this morning.

It is not likely that this is a long term rebound in bond prices, but it is worth mentioning.  In addition, the Producer Price Index (PPI) and the Retail Sales Report are due out tomorrow and will dictate the direction of the market when they come out.

If you have a mortgage currently working, you might want to go ahead and lock your rate.  But, if your mortgage is a little farther out, wait and see what happens tomorrow to make a decision to lock or not.