The yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note continues to hang near 2%. Not surprisingly, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage continues to hang below 4%. As we mentioned last week, 2% on the 10-year note gets us sub-4% rate quotes on the 30-year loan.

Given the way the stock market has performed to start 2016, we expect mortgage rates to hold these lows for some time. Many investors are wary of stocks; wary investors take refuge in Treasury securities. The money that flows into these securities raises their price and lowers their yield. Because mortgage bonds take their cue from Treasury securities – the 10-year note in particular – investors are willing to accept lower-rate mortgages.

Stock-market risk perception runs high, which means risk aversion runs high. That's good news for us, because we are able to avail ourselves of low-rate financing. We're seeing mortgage rates we haven't seen in seven months. But keep in mind, it will take only a couple of sustained stock-market rallies for risk perception to change and for money to flow out of bonds and into stocks.

A big bounce in the stock market could easily lead to a big bounce in mortgage rates.

 Information provided by Jessica Regan.

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