Are Oil Prices Greasing the Interest Rate Wheel?

As we are now in a world were interest rates are going up there is a lot of talk in the financial markets speculating about how much they will rise and what are the factors that are driving them behind the scenes.  With so many political and financial factors in such a short amount of time it can be easy to look for short term colorations, in other words a scapegoat to ease our collective minds and quantify what is likely to happen but you may be surprised to find that the truth is a little harder to put our collective finger on.

So now that the election results have worked their way through the system a little more and the US markets have started to stabilize it can be easy to think that’s where the story ends but alas no.  So, with the specter of rates still going up, the markets started looking for another reason and landed on OPEC recently cutting production and the historic correlation between oil prices and mortgage rates, but is this the real reason?

Financial markets are understandably very concerned with anything that can raise the cost of moving goods around the world. And with the massive drop in oil prices in 2014 a lot of things that may have never been related to Oil prices have now been viewed through that lens with mortgage rates being no exception.  It’s always a compelling idea to be able to think we’ve found a key to understanding the markets by watching something as omni-important as Oil and its pressures on markets and inflation around the globe but again being compelling doesn’t make it true even if it calms fears in some quarters.

So, what is it then if not oil or the recent election? Is there truly no way to know what the lay of the land for lending may be going forward?  The truth is that it is complicated by so many more factors and like anything that has a lot of ingredients it’s hard to know exactly what’s going to come out of the oven and what the effect will be going forward. That said there are some things we know for sure, let’s take a look.

So, first and foremost the ECB (European Central Bank) said it was going to review how they are dealing with “asset purchases” and the likely implication here is that they are going to taper their purchases of financial assets and of course this is almost certainly going to raise rates across the globe. This is something that most serious market watchers have expected and some may argue is overdue but again there is no doubt the effect is likely to raise rates. Number two despite the recent stabilization there is still a large amount of uncertainty in the markets of what the implications of the new administration will be and uncertainty almost always leads to higher interest rates. And lastly rates have been held artificially low for so long that it may well not be feasible to keep them at these deflated levels forever without doing damage to the lending sector around the world and having that effect reflect itself in depressing markets around the world.  There is and has been a growing chorus of people around the world saying it’s now time to take off the training wheels and let rates find a less managed balance.

With all of that factored in the point here is that we are likely to continue to see rates rise and we are again likely to be looking at a world of rates that are closer to what we saw in the surplus days of the 1990’s. We who have been watching a long time don’t expect crippling rates in the near future but if you want to tell your kids down the road how you got your loan when rates where in the 3% range than this may well be your last chance.

If you have been waiting to refinance or still have mortgage insurance you should take a look while mortgage rates are still under 4% APR. Call me for custom options at 801.599.5363 today or get a Quick Quote today!

Leave a Reply