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We haven’t paid much attention to mortgage rates of late, a fact that is understandable given that the real action in the mortgage market has involved defaults on high-risk loans rather than incremental rate changes. But let’s check back in on the topic.

The accompanying chart displays rates for 30-year fixed and 1-year adjustable mortgages along with the effective Federal Funds Rate. It’s clear to see that just as the multi-year increase in the Fed Funds Rate didn’t do much to increase fixed mortgage rates (which are more dependent on long-term rates than the Fed-controlled overnight rate), its current decline hasn’t exerted much downward pressure on fixed rate mortgages either.

As a matter of fact, fixed rates are not a whole lot lower than they were when the Fed began cutting rates back in mid-2007.

Adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) rates have fallen a bit, but they are notably higher than they were when the Fed Funds Rate was hovering around 2 percent back in 2005.

In short, the Fed’s dramatic rate-slashing extravaganza hasn’t put much downward pressure on mortgage rates at all.

— RICH TOSCANO

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