An interesting article from today’s Washington Post regarding the federal government’s plans to exit the mortgage markets: “For more than a year, the government pulled out the stops to revive home buying by driving down mortgage rates. Now, whether the housing market is ready or not, the government is pulling out.” But apparently not everybody in government supports the idea. Those who oppose are offering warnings of higher interest rates and a slowdown in home sales.
More excerpts from the Washington Post:
Real estate and mortgage finance officials said the timing of the government’s exit seems especially ill-conceived, since the Fed’s support would end just a month before a homebuyer tax credit program, which the real estate industry has credited with jump-starting home sales
The optimism at the White House and the Fed, however, is not shared across the government. A few senior policymakers at the central bank view the economic recovery as still too fragile, suggesting that purchases perhaps should expand further. These dissenters also warn that mortgage rates could shoot up, perhaps to 6 percent or higher, because private investors buying securities would demand a greater rate of return than the Fed. To reach it, lenders may have to raise rates for consumers.
“Presumably, there is pent-up demand from the private sector, but the question is: At what rate are they going to be interested?” said Eric S. Rosengren, the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, who has indicated that he supports expanding the Fed’s mortgage securities purchase program.
Read the full story: Wahington Post