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UK Brexit and How It Will Affect Mortgage Rates

The UK voted by a small majority (less than 4 percentage points) to leave the European Union. Not unexpectedly, the pound, which was once trading above $1.50, has crashed. At the time of the report it was down a record 10 percent against its US counterpart at $1.35, its lowest level since 1985. In addition to the dollar, the Swiss franc and Japanese yen have seen increased investments as investors dive out of the British pound and into cash that is perceived as safe at the expense of the euro and higher yielding currencies. Investors also sought safety in gold driving up the price, and in US Treasuries also driving up the price and increasing the demand for this government debt. This increased demand and price of US treasuries is pushing the yield on the benchmark 10-year note to a new four year low, yields fall as bond prices rise. High demand for government debt pulls down interest rates. Though mortgage rates have already hit rock bottom this year; with fixed mortgage rates reaching three year lows just in the past month. The UK’s vote to leave the European Union is expected to drive mortgage rates even lower as the high demand for government bonds pulls down interest rates. Treasury rates have already dropped about 20 basis points by Friday morning.

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