This morning the Fed raised the Federal Funds Rate this morning by 0.25% to 1.00%. Although the Fed does not directly control mortgage rates, this move will most likely cause mortgage rates to continue to trend higher. The Fed Funds rate does directly impact home equity lines of credit interest rates that are attached to the prime rate.
From the press release:
“…In view of realized and expected labor market conditions and inflation, the Committee decided to raise the target range for the federal funds rate to 3/4 to 1 percent. The stance of monetary policy remains accommodative, thereby supporting some further strengthening in labor market conditions and a sustained return to 2 percent inflation.
…The Committee is maintaining its existing policy of reinvesting principal payments from its holdings of agency debt and agency mortgage-backed securities in agency mortgage-backed securities and of rolling over maturing Treasury securities at auction, and it anticipates doing so until normalization of the level of the federal funds rate is well under way. This policy, by keeping the Committee’s holdings of longer-term securities at sizable levels, should help maintain accommodative financial conditions….”
This move was heavily anticipated by the markets. As I write this (12:14 pm pst on March 15), the DOW is up 113 to 20,951. As of this time, it is expected there will be two more rate hikes this year.