RE/MAX 360

RE/MAX 360


Z.I.R.P. and mortgage rates

Below is an excerpt from a recent article by Barry Habib of MBS Highway

Quite possibly you have heard of the Federal Reserves ZIRP or Zero Interest Rate Policy…below is a good explanation of how it works and the tangential effect on mortgage rates.

Imagine that you are a Money Manager, managing a $100 Million Dollar portfolio. You can borrow at very low rates that are close to the Fed Funds Rate. Call it a 0 .5% cost to borrow. You can buy mortgage bonds that pay 3% . It looks like a nice profit spread of 2 .5% . But the real magic happens when you use leverage. You can buy those bonds with only 10% cash . So you can take your $100 Million and buy $1 Billion worth of bonds, by borrowing the other $900 Million at a cost of only 0 .5% . The 2 .5% profit on the $1Billion is equal to a whopping 25% on your $100 Million dollar portfolio...making you a great money manager, and a heck of a lot of fees. This is called "The Carry Trade". But one sure way to lose money on this trade is to have your borrowing cost rise. So, as the data begins to approach the Fed's targets, managers will be less willing to buy mortgage bonds and begin to unwind their holdings. This selling of mortgage bonds will cause mortgage rates to rise, and perhaps at a surprising pace. We will need to be on guard about this in the months ahead.

The above is important to buyers and sellers alike…for buyers, it is quite obvious how interest rates have an effect on the purchase of a home. an increase in rates from 4% to 5% has the following effect on a $250,000 loan.

Principal and interest payment of $250,000 at 4% is $1,194/mon

Principal and interest payment on $250,000 at 5% is $1,342/mon…that is a 12% increase in payment and can have a significant effect on the size of the loan you can qualify for.

If the rates go to 6% you would be at almost $1,500/mon

So, if you are a buyer, you have try to predict the future of interest rates and home prices (we’re here to help you with that!). Should you buy now at the lowest rates in history, or gamble that home prices will fall if interest rates rise? Can you chart out the ‘rates vs. price’ so you are aware of the optimum rate/price relationship?

And, as a seller, are you up for the gamble? Are you on the side of the “we’ve hit bottom” and it’s all up from here crowd or, after reading the above, do you think that now may be an opportune time to “get while the getting is good”?


We are not your typical real estate agents. We’ll help you decipher all of the ‘noise’ relating to the housing market and what decision is in YOUR best interests. You won’t get ‘objection handling techniques’, you won’t get ‘memorized dialogs’…in short, you won’t get a salesman that tries to influence and steer you in one direction or another. You’ll get honest advice tailored to your specific needs, goals and situation.

Call me directly at 561.602.1258 if you’d like to discuss anything real estate related.

And, as always, thanks for reading

Lakeview Estates, Lake Worth Florida...foreclosure tracker

Lakeview Estates, Lake Worth Florida...foreclosure tracker
As of 4/1/10 there are 7 Lakeview Estates homes in some stage of foreclosure.
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