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A random walk approach to predicting US 30-year home mortgage rates

  • Baghestani, Hamid
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    Following the implications of term structure theory in an efficient bond market, this study formulates a random walk model that produces unbiased and efficient forecasts of the 30-year mortgage rate for 1987-2006. Forecast accuracy improves with a reduction in lead time but deteriorates with an increase in the forecast horizon. We find, however, no clear trend indicating that forecast accuracy has improved over time. From a more practical perspective, the random walk forecasts of the 30-year mortgage rate and prepayment premium (the spread between 30-year mortgage and 10-year Treasury rates) accurately predict directional change and thus are of value to a user. In exploring the view that the 30-year mortgage rate often moves in tandem with the 10-year Treasury rate, we further find that these rates are cointegrated and thus converge to an equilibrium relation in the long-run.

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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Housing Economics.

    Volume (Year): 17 (2008)
    Issue (Month): 3 (September)
    Pages: 225-233

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:jhouse:v:17:y:2008:i:3:p:225-233
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    1. Pesando, James E, 1979. "On the Random Walk Characteristics of Short- and Long-Term Interest Rates in an Efficient Market," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 11(4), pages 457-66, November.
    2. Fair, Ray C & Shiller, Robert J, 1990. "Comparing Information in Forecasts from Econometric Models," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(3), pages 375-89, June.
    3. Reichenstein, William, 1989. "Martingales and Efficient Forecasts of Effective Mortgage Rates," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 2(4), pages 317-30, December.
    4. Dickey, David A & Fuller, Wayne A, 1981. "Likelihood Ratio Statistics for Autoregressive Time Series with a Unit Root," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(4), pages 1057-72, June.
    5. Whitney K. Newey & Kenneth D. West, 1986. "A Simple, Positive Semi-Definite, Heteroskedasticity and AutocorrelationConsistent Covariance Matrix," NBER Technical Working Papers 0055, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Baghestani, Hamid, 2006. "An evaluation of the professional forecasts of U.S. long-term interest rates," Review of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 177-191.
    7. Simon, David P, 1989. "The Rationality of Federal Funds Rate Expectations: Evidence from a Survey: A Note," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 21(3), pages 388-93, August.
    8. Ali Darrat & Ross Dickens & Osamah Al-Khazali, 2006. "Interactions between mortgage and other capital markets in the USA: has financial deregulation made a difference?," Applied Financial Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(4), pages 335-345.
    9. Hamori, Shigeyuki & Tokihisa, Akira, 1997. "Testing for a unit root in the presence of a variance shift1," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 57(3), pages 245-253, December.
    10. David H. Romer & Christina D. Romer, 2000. "Federal Reserve Information and the Behavior of Interest Rates," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(3), pages 429-457, June.
    11. Joutz, Fred & Stekler, H. O., 2000. "An evaluation of the predictions of the Federal Reserve," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 17-38.
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