Mortgage Spread Collapses... More

Since QEternity was announced, the spread between the 30Y mortgage and 10Y Treasury has collapsed from an already very tight (in anticipation of QE3) level to simply incredible levels. Following our comments on Friday about the relative 'safety' of mortgages over Treasuries, the compression from over 60bps pre-Ben to a mere 22bps now is incredible and just highlights how entirely distorted any signaling from any rate market has become. The point remains that lower absolute mortgage rates (which are notably not as exuberant as this relative risk spread would suggest) have not in the recent past provided notable pick-up in the new home sales (which is where real growth in the economy comes from) and furthermore, the benefits to the consumer of further mortgage rate cuts (based on recent JPMorgan work) is around $5bn per annum for every 25bps improvement in the mortgage rate (a drop in the ocean for a consumer who spends $11 trillion per year).

Mortgage spread over TSYs...


Chart: Bloomberg