Mortgage rates are rising, despite the government’s efforts to hold them down.
The government can’t control all the factors that affect mortgage rates. Mortgage interest has climbed because more borrowers refinanced when rates fell and boosted the supply of mortgage bonds.
Experts also attribute rising rates to expanded borrowing by the government to pay for stimulus packages, worries about Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and concerns about whether the central bank will continue to purchase mortgage bonds after June.The suggestion that the government solve the problem by creating an entity that offers 30-year mortgages at preset rates of 4 percent or 4.5 percent has drawn criticism.
“Not a lot of buyers are likely to want to buy a 3.5 percent mortgage-backed security, so the government may end up being a significant holder of these loans,” said Nicholas Strand, a mortgage strategist with Barclays Capital. “And that number could run up to trillions of dollars.”
Source: The Wall Street Journal, Prabha Nataraian (02/03/2009)
Daily Real Estate News | February 20, 2008
As the presidential primary in Ohio approaches, Sens. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) and Barack Obama (D-Ill.) are highlighting their different housing proposals. Voters in Ohio especially are concerned about the housing proposals because the state has one of the highest foreclosure rates in the nation.
Clinton insists that government intervention is necessary. She proposes ceasing foreclosure proceedings for 90 days to allow borrowers and lenders to work on modifications, instituting a five-year interest-rate freeze on adjustable-rate subprime mortgages for primary residences only, and the use of government-backed mortgages to refinance borrowers who can no longer manage their monthly payments.
Meanwhile, Obama says that government involvement will force lenders to put the brakes on making new loans and modifications. Instead, he is focusing on stricter penalties for predatory lenders, tax credits for mortgage interest, and a $10 billion fund dedicated to preventing foreclosure and assisting first-time buyers.
Source: The Wall Street Journal, Nick Timiraos (02/20/08)