“Exploring the Landscape of Mortgage Rates in 2024”

The world of mortgage rates is an ever-changing landscape, subject to a wide variety of factors including economic conditions, government policies, and even investor sentiment. This fluid domain requires potential buyers, sellers, real estate professionals, and even casual observers to keep a close, watchful eye on its pulse. In this scenario, it is pertinent to delve into recent updates regarding ever-evolving mortgage rates.

The fluctuations and deviations in mortgage rates are often directly tied to the bond market with the most consistent correlation associated with 10-year US Treasury notes. Generally, when Treasury yields rise, mortgage rates follow suit, and when the yields drop, rates tend to decrease as well.

It so happens, however, that recently, this reliable correlation has somewhat dissolved. This contrast has retail mortgage lenders in a quandary because the bond yields were rising, but simultaneously, the average mortgage rates remained unchanged. Amid these market incongruities, it’s vital to decode the interplay between Treasury yields and mortgage rates and grasp the overriding elements causing this anomaly.


The recent misalignment between Treasury yields and mortgage rates can be attributed to several external factors. Essentially, these are the forces that have created a chasm, leading to this disconnection.

One such factor includes policy changes announced by agencies backed by the Federal Government—Fannie Mae (the Federal National Mortgage Association) and Freddie Mac (the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation). Specifically, Fannie and Freddie declared they would no longer purchase certain types of refinances after September of 2021. The excluded refinance loans are predominantly those deemed riskier due to their repayment terms, often known as ‘cash-out’ refis. This policy shift has deterred lenders from offering these types of loans, thus tilting the overall balance.

Another significant influence impacting the rates has been the surge in lender profitability over the past few years. The demand was high, and rates had hit rock bottom, creating a fertile environment for lenders to thrive. As profitability rose, lenders had the luxury of keeping rates comparatively high even when bond yields were going down.

This profitable spell worked in two distinct ways. Firstly, by maintaining high rates amid low bond yields, lenders could secure splashier earnings. Secondly, this setup acted as a preventive measure to guard the lenders against future refinancing. Keeping rates somewhat elevated ensures that lenders will have a reasonable buffer even if the borrowers decide to refinance in the future.


Considering the dynamics driving mortgage rates, we attempt to discern their near future, assessing several interconnected elements.

As mentioned earlier, policy changes by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac add uncertainty. Currently, these institutions have a significant presence in the US mortgage market. Any changes they implement essentially reshape the whole industry. This shake-up intensifies when one realizes the agencies’ decision to quit financing certain refinance loans. It’s essential to understand that these types of credits that are being discarded contribute to a substantial chunk of the American mortgage market.

Economic conditions add another level of complexity. GDP growth allows treasury yields to float high. In contrast, a low GDP growth rate stunts the yields with a similar impact on mortgage rates. The Covid-19 pandemic brought strange dynamics to this front. In the initial phase, housing prices shot up as the demand increased due to low interest rates on loans. However, it is essential not to forget that mortgage rates had been already low due to slow GDP growth way before Covid-19 shook the world.

As the world resets post-Covid, it’s hard to tell whether the same patterns will persist. However, one thing is for sure; forces that previously defined the trajectory of mortgage fees can’t be ignored.


Lenders are direct beneficiaries of high mortgage rates as it essentially pads their profit margins. In the past couple of years, rising property prices combined with low bond yields, catapulted lender profitability to record heights.

However, such a boom doesn’t last forever. As rates begin to normalize, lenders may have to tweak their strategies to maintain profit levels. It might mean less flexibility on lender credit for closing costs or tighter minimum qualifications for low-down payment loans.

Additionally, the constraint on certain refinance loans placed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac results in lenders finding ways to offer equivalent products through different channels. In other words, they will have to explore the market and find alternative opportunities to maintain their foothold in the industry.


Even if the Federal Government aligns itself with the Federal Reserve’s resolutions to keep policy rates near zero, it can’t guarantee that mortgage rates will follow the same path. In theory, lower Fed rates should lead to lower mortgage rates, but external influences such as lenders’ actions can play a significant role to divert the sequence.

Market watchers, under these circumstances, advise potential buyers to stay discernibly prepared. It is wise to keep an eye on changes to lending policies, economic factors, and liquidity in the bond market.

Under the surface, the mortgage rates scenario may seem like a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma, but a closer look reveals it as an intrinsic tapestry of fiscal, economic, and policy factors. As we step forward into the rest of the year, it’s time to stay informed, remain vigilant and make strategic decisions to navigate through the volatile waters of umpteen possibilities.

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