Do future Fed cuts mean lower mortgage rates?

When the Federal Reserve Bank increases or cuts the Fed funds rate, many people believe that it automatically makes mortgage rates go up or down. However, it’s not that simple. The relationship between the Fed’s actions on monetary policy and mortgage rates is a little more complex than that. When the Fed is increasing interest rates like they did throughout 2023 to combat inflation, that typically would cause the stock market to sell off, and mortgage rates to get slightly better. However, interest rates deteriorated during that time because they were hiking interest rates to offset inflation, which is the arch-enemy of stocks and bonds. On the other hand, when the Federal Reserve starts cutting interest rates, the cost of funds typically gets less expensive.
As a result, the Federal Reserve is trying to stimulate and grow the economy. People then will put their money in the stock market, at the expense of the bond market, meeting at the expense of mortgage rates typically worsening, not always, but generally speaking, while the stock market improves. It’s important to note that when the Federal Reserve is cutting interest rates, that typically means the economy is in dire straits from an economic standpoint, more particularly focused on jobs, growth, and stability. When the Fed cuts interest rates, unemployment typically tends to rise. When an environment like that transpires, mortgage rates usually will get better. So it’s based on why the Fed is increasing or decreasing interest rates, and it’s the effects of what those increases are that stimulate mortgage rates up or down the most. Mortgage rates generally will get better and will improve when there is negative economic information, as long as it doesn’t pertain to anything related to the word inflation. That means high unemployment, bad news for the economy, for example, mortgage rates getting better.
However, keep in mind the lower mortgage rates go in the future, the less opportunistic the stock market is going to be. So while you might get a lower cost of funds for purchasing or refinancing a home, it could come at the expense, most likely of getting less of a return in the stock market. It’s finding the equilibrium balance between having a strong ROI in the stock market and investments versus having a lower cost of funds, improving purchasing power, and lowering the cost of debt. In conclusion, understanding the relationship between the Federal Reserve’s actions and mortgage rates is crucial for anyone looking to buy or refinance a home. While the relationship is complex, by keeping an eye on the economic climate and the Fed’s actions, you can make more informed decisions about your mortgage and investments.
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