With mortgage rates at a record low, the gap between the cost of funding mortgages for banks and the rates offered to borrowers continues to widen, the Wall Street Journal reports. If banks were passing along their lower funding costs to borrowers, would mortgage rates be even lower?
The Federal Reserve Bank of New York held a conference Monday to dissect if banks are booking higher mortgage profits as the Federal Reserve seeks to squash mortgage rates and why.
The primary-secondary spread, which has trended around 0.5% during the majority of the past 10 years, is now hovering around the 1% point since 2008 and even reached 1.5% in recent weeks.
The Wall Street Journal reported, "Market concentration and lender costs don’t explain the increase in originator profitability and costs, but capacity constraints 'do appear to play a significant role' and there is 'evidence suggesting that originators have enjoyed pricing power on some of their borrowers looking to refinance over the past year.'"