Will the Fed stop buying mortgages? – Orange County Register

Mortgage traders are betting that their market is at the forefront as the Federal Reserve begins a major reduction in its massive bond purchases.

This will be the final pullback in 2014, a break from the Fed’s balanced approach, where Treasury and mortgage-backed securities purchases have slowed at the same pace. However, as home prices soar and lending rates aren’t far from record lows, some believe that central banks continue to add $ 40 billion in mortgages to their balance sheets each month.

Traders are trying to stay ahead of the Fed’s move, which is expected to already spread ripples in financial markets. Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas Governor Robert Kaplan said last week that he wasn’t thinking about the housing market, and despite rising government bonds, mortgage-backed securities fell 0.18% last month, the worst performance since the early days of the pandemic. Recorded. We need as much support as we can get from a central bank.

J. Clemley, Senior Portfolio Manager for Income Research + Management, said: It oversees $ 90 billion and reduces its exposure to some of the mortgage markets most affected by the Fed’s slowdown. “If the Fed is worried about inflation and wants to do something, they need to withdraw from their mortgages and get into government bonds.”

The Fed’s intervention in the housing market has long been controversial, even though it began in 2008 after the bursting of a real estate bubble that squeezed the industry over the years.

This time, The Fed helped push mortgage rates to record lows. Real estate prices soared with the purchase of the Fed, with national home price readings in March rising 13% year-on-year, the highest since 2005.

Indeed, Federal Reserve Board Chair Jerome Powell does not suggest that the central bank will target the mortgage market, nor will it suggest when to start tapering debt purchases. However, the withdrawal from mortgage-backed securities gives authorities more bandwidth to support the Treasury market, as President Joe Biden seeks to enact key spending plans, including the National Infrastructure Program. Probably.

The Federal Reserve Board’s purchase helped reduce interest payments on national debt last year, despite a surge in bond issuance to fund a pandemic bailout. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen also said that the low debt repayment costs leave room for the administration to set an agenda. The Congressional Budget Office forecasts a deficit of $ 2.3 trillion in 2021, after surpassing $ 3 trillion last year. These are the largest deficits of the economy since World War II.

George Goncalves, Head of Macro Strategy for the United States at Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, said: “It will be adjusted. And given our budget deficit, the Treasury market is the one that needs the most help.

Speculation on Thursday suggests that the Fed may begin adjusting monetary policy in the coming months, after new data show that U.S. consumer prices exceeded most economists’ expectations last month. Started. This raised the break-even point for 10 years. This is a substitute for the bond market with the expected annual inflation rate over the next decade.

In addition to buying mortgages, the Fed adds $ 80 billion in Treasury to its balance sheet each month. Although it states that it will maintain that pace, the minutes of the April meeting may be appropriate to discuss that if the economy continues to “rapidly progress”, many participants will reduce it. He reported that he did not.

Walt Schmidt, Head of Mortgage Strategy at FHN Financial in Chicago, said the Fed will use one of its meetings later this summer or its August meeting in Jackson Hall, Wyoming to buy bonds. He said he could start talking about plans to delay.

The Fed’s mortgage holdings have increased to approximately $ 2.2 trillion as a result of subsequent acquisitions since the pandemic. This is well beyond the duration of previous quantitative easing policies. This focused on newly generated mortgage debt and helped raise interest rates on 30-year fixed rate loans to a record low of 2.65% in January. By 2020, the agency’s net issuance of mortgage-backed securities more than doubled from the previous year, reaching $ 508 billion, the highest since the peak of the housing bubble in 2007.

But not everyone is convinced that the Fed will withdraw from the mortgage market first. Alex Rover, head of US interest rate strategy at JPMorgan Chase and Company, said this is one possible scenario and could allow central banks to focus on government bonds. Follow the 2014 model.

“This is the way we think they are most likely to go down, as communication is the easiest and does not always have unintended consequences,” Roever said.

But Boston Fed Governor Eric Rosengren didn’t see a sector that needed continued support from the Federal Reserve Bank last month, so it sounds open to reducing mortgage purchases faster than government bonds when the time comes. It was.

“There is debate about the composition of the balance sheet, regardless of the state of the housing market,” said former Fed President Randall Kroszner, who is now a professor at the University of Chicago Booth Business School. “I think the Fed could withdraw from mortgage-backed securities sooner than Treasury securities.”

Will the Fed stop buying mortgages? – Orange County Register Source link Will the Fed stop buying mortgages? – Orange County Register

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