“Static” Low Rates Bringing Borrowers Back to the Table

Several fixed rate lenders (agencies, Life companies, CMBS) have indicated that the recent drop in fixed rates is spurring increased activity in refinances and acquisition loans.    It’s another “perfect storm” as fears of a global growth slowdown and lack of inflation are keeping treasury rates low and a general “risk on” trade is contributing to relatively tight credit spreads.   Note that spreads have increased slightly in recent weeks in reaction to the lower index, but the increase is more than offset by the drop in Treasuries.   One of the main factors keeping Treasuries low is the abating fear of inflation.   Remember last November, when “inflation was coming back” and a 3.23% 10 year Treasury was just a signpost on the way to 4.00%?   That is now ancient history.   Today’s headline on the CPI report indicated 0.4% monthly headline inflation but markets focused on the 0.1% “core” number excluding the volatile food and energy sectors (but isn’t that the stuff everyone buys? Food and gasoline?)   Regardless the remaining core number may be slightly skewed lower due to new methodology on apparel prices.   The 10 year T is at 2.46%. Stay tuned.
By David R. Pascale, Jr. , Senior Vice President at George Smith Partners

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