Los Angeles mortgage markets are taking pause today, in honor of Good Friday. It was another dramatic week with Ben Bernanke playing John Wayne. Last weekend, Bernanke brokered a deal that handed Bear Stearns over to Jamie Dimon and JP Morgan Chase. Last week, a share of Bear Stearns traded for the price of a tankful of gasoline, this week, it trades around the price of a Starbucks cup of coffee. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac agreed to buy a lot of mortgages, $200 billion worth to be precise. This buoyed up the mortgage bonds market and had a positive effect on Los Angeles mortgage rates.
Let's lock those rates, now. I don't see a whole lot more reward on the horizon and the risk of higher rates will increase next week.
ARM rates are out of whack, again, and the fixed-rate mortgages are the best priced. Today, the wholesale rate for a 30-year fixed-rate loan is 5.625%. If you called me, you would get that 30-year fixed rate loan for 1% of the loan amount plus $499 for an APR of 5.89%. A 15-year fixed rate mortgage can be locked for 4.875% for an APR of 5.15%. That's about .75% less than what rates were on March 10. My advice to stay calm, in the face of panic, and float rates, panned out.
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