Stop us if you’ve heard this before: mortgage rates are falling. Yes, we know, it’s almost like a broken record yet the low rate mantra over the past few years is unprecedented. It used to be, prior to say the mid-2000s, Fed action (or inaction) guided interest rates on mortgages, Treasuries and bonds.Mortgage Rates for Investors No, the Fed doesn’t directly set mortgage rates but investors who buy mortgage bonds and U.S.

Treasuries pay attention to the Fed for a potential peek into the future. A robust economy on the way? Money moves out of fixed instruments and into equities. A slowdown? The opposite typically occurs.

Yet the Fed has kept the Federal Funds rate effectively at zero since December of 2008 while mortgage rates for real estate investors fell from the low 6.00% range to a low near 3.50% in January of 2013. Since that low, mortgage rates have moved between 3.50% and 4.50%. During this period, the Fed purchased more than $4 trillion in mortgage bonds and Treasuries. $4 trillion. This money printing program ended last October but rates have fallen a bit more, in the opposite direction most would expect.

The fact is there are few places in the world where money is relatively safe. Mortgage bonds and U.S. Treasuries certainly fill that spot but as the price of oil has fallen over recent weeks, while it’s great for consumers at the gas pump it’s hurting those who extract oil for their income. Russia for instance is primarily an extraction economy and nearly half Russia’s revenue comes from the sale of oil. The precipitous fall of oil is wreaking havoc on Russia’s already fragile economy, primed by sanctions. Russia’s economy is technically in a recession and could lead to a depression should oil stay near current levels. That economic weakness could very well spread to Europe and other areas, including Asia. In fact, Japan has also experienced two consecutive quarters of negative growth.

So where else do investors put their money? Bonds and Treasuries are seeing massive amounts of infusion from investors around the globe. Yes, the yields are relatively tiny yet they’re better than a loss or risking funds in any equity market anywhere. If oil prices stay in their current range, we could very well see mortgage rates for real estate investors stay below 4.00% well into 2015.