MortgagesConsumers hoping to see mortgage rates slide substantially in coming months may be disappointed, says Bob Walters, chief economist at Quicken Loans.
"There's going to be a slight pull toward higher rates," Walters says.
The 30-year fixed mortgage
-- which fell to a 2009 low of 5.13 percent April 1 -- generally has moved higher and now stands at 5.65 percent.
Then and now
|30-year fixed mortgage||5.42%||5.65%|
Better economic news in recent weeks has caused a "sea change in perception" that is partially responsible for the rising rates, Walters says.
"People are starting to think we're bouncing off the bottom of the bad stuff here," he says. "Time will tell if that's accurate."
typically follow the direction of long-term Treasury rates, which have climbed as markets anticipate that an improving economy will lead to future rate hikes by the Fed, Walters says.
"They've taken rates down to zero, (but) there will come a day when they've got to take the punch bowl away," he says.
Walters doesn't expect Fed tightening anytime soon, but acknowledges the difficulty of forecasting the next increase.
"Nobody has a perfect crystal ball," he says.
However, he urges mortgage shoppers not to wait, adding that the "gravitational pull" of rates is likely higher.
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Mortgage rates since Dec. 16, 2008