Fall housing trends: What will happen to home prices and mortgage rates?

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Continued low mortgage rates
Continued low mortgage rates | Joshua Ness/Unsplash

Continued low mortgage rates

Mortgage rates were remarkably stable over the summer. In Bankrate's weekly survey, the 30-year fixed varied from a low of 3.52% in early July to a high of 3.64% in mid-September. It's unusual for mortgage rates to remain in such a small range for 3 months.

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Not only did rates stay steady, but they hovered just above the modern-day low of 3.5%, set in December 2012.

Mortgage rates are likely to remain low, even if the Federal Reserve raises the overnight interest rate in one or both of its last 2 meetings of the year (Nov. 1-2 and Dec. 13-14).

"I think rates stay where they're at," says Bob Walters, chief economist for Quicken Loans. "I don't see them dropping a whole lot, but I don't see them rising." Economic growth is slow and inflation is low. "We are in a deflationary world, for the most part, and interest rates are the beneficiary."

Walters has one caveat, and it's a big one: He says the financial markets assume Hillary Clinton will win the presidential election. If Donald Trump wins, the reaction in the financial markets is unpredictable.

More: What's the rate outlook for next week? Read the Rate Trend Index.


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