Rates remain becalmed

Monday, March 23
Posted 2 p.m. EDT

CALM: Rates have held fairly steady today, despite the hubbub over the Treasury's plan to purge the financial system of toxic assets.

WHICH WAY?: A reader named Liz asks:

"Will mortgage rates continue to go down, or are they going to go back up?

I'm renting right now and about to renew my lease. (I) Was planning to buy a home next year. Will interest rates be higher next year?"

Liz, an interest-rate prediction more than a few days out is a crapshoot. I think rates will be higher next year, but I have no confidence in this prediction.

Don't let interest rate movements be the deciding factor in your choice of whether to buy or rent. If buying a house would cost a lot more per month than renting an equivalent house, you probably should continue to rent.