Mortgage rates are so low that it may seem like a great time to get a mortgage. For banks, however, it probably is the greatest time ever.
The profit margin on the rates that they can charge customers and the price they can earn for selling those mortgages to investors is at a record. This is measured as the “spread,” or difference, between mortgage securities yields and mortgage rates.
Given that housing prices are beaten up and borrowers must put down bigger cushions than in recent years, it is “the most profitable, safest time ever to be a mortgage bank,” says Scott Simon, who is the head of mortgage investing at Pimco.