The yield on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note fell to its lowest level ever Tuesday, signaling that this extremely low interest rate environment isn’t going anywhere quickly.
From an article in The Wall Street Journal by Min Zeng:
The yield closed below 1.4% for the first time at 1.367%, surpassing the previous record low set four years ago, according to data going back to 1977.
The question now is how low can they go. Investors buying Treasurys now are taking big risks, as prices of longer-term debt can move significantly if interest rates unexpectedly rise. But a generation of traders has been wrong in trying to call the top.
The yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury bond is directly tied to mortgage rates. As Treasury yields drop, so do mortgage rates.
While the latest data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey came out early Wednesday, showing refinance applications jumped to an 18-month high, this does not yet include the impact from Tuesday’s record low Treasury yields.
Mortgage applications run about a week behind. The latest report was for the week ending July 1, meaning the impact from the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note on Tuesday won’t appear until the next report or two.
America, however, was already enjoying historically low interest rates before Brexit became a reality, but now that British voters officially decided to leave the European Union, mortgage rates are forecasted to go even lower.
In the wake of the news surrounding Brexit, Erin Lantz, Zillow vice president of mortgages, said, “We expect mortgage rates to reach historic lows in the wake of the Brexit vote, as investors flock to relatively safer investments in U.S. mortgage-backed securities.”
And it’s not solely the refinance market that is heating up.
“While the refinance market will continue to stay heated, we are still experiencing strong demand for purchases and new home construction,” Ed Adams, BOK Financial Mortgage retail channel leader, told HousingWire. “The overall real estate economy appears healthy and the continued low level of interest rates aids borrowers in the ability to qualify for many types of loan product.”