Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Housing Market and Credit

The feds are still worried about the housing market (see post below for an idea of why).  So now they have another new plan to get credit going again, especially mortgages. Above is a chart of national average mortgages rates for 30 year fixed conventional mortgages.  This is the one credit market that has done fairly well all things considered (after the Fannie and Freddie bailout - oh, and don't blame Fannie and Freddie for the subprime crisis, the evidence clearly shows it was not they that caused the huge sub-prime glut) 6% historically is a great rate.  But clearly the feds think it needs to be even better to finally put a floor under the free-fall of the housing market.  

The bailout was in the beginning of September and you can see how mortgage rates responded sharply.  Then came Lehman Brothers bankruptcy in mid-september and the credit markets went nuts.  Mortgage markets have struggled since, but have mostly been pretty calm in November.  The bigger problem is that banks are unwilling to loan without a lot of collateral and fantastic credit, so the rate is only part of the story.

Anyway, the point of all this is that the plan today is supposed to try and staunch the bleeding in the housing market as exposed by Case-Shiller.  I wonder if it is a coincidence that they announced this today - the day of the C-S report?

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