Mortgage Rate Trend Index
Will rates rise or remain relatively unchanged? Experts and Bankrate analysts provide their insights.
This week (Dec. 10 - Dec. 16) the experts say: Rates are more likely to rise. This week, a majority of the panelists believe mortgage rates will rise over the next 35 to 45 days. About one-quarter believe rates will remain relatively unchanged (plus or minus 2 basis points). The remainder think rates will fall.
Industry experts and Bankrate commentary
The techs say that yields will rise, but the day-to-day movements are capricious and make lock timing very difficult. There is still some flight-to-quality when folks get nervous about commodities and Third World debt.
Dick Lepre, senior loan officer, Residential Pacific Mortgage - SF, San Francisco, Calif.
The ride will be bumpy so lock on the dips.
Dan Green, TheMortgageReports.com, Waterstone Mortgage, Cincinnati, Ohio
Fed Chairman Bernanke gets that the economy is still too soft to tighten up rates. His crystal is finally right.
Jeff Lazerson, president, Mortgage Grader, Laguna Niguel, Calif.
Last week's nonfarm payroll or unemployment report was much better than expected. The news caused mortgage rates to rise, as it portends an improving economy. After looking into the details of the report, I am very skeptical of the outlook for an improving economy. Remember, jobs are still being lost, albeit at a much slower rate, and the areas that showed an improvement are not high-paying construction and manufacturing jobs but employment in professional and business services (which rose by 86,000 in November). Temporary help services accounted for the majority of the increase, adding 52,000 jobs. When you add stagnant incomes to a continuing contraction in consumer credit, the result is a much weaker holiday retail season. Once this weakness becomes apparent, it will translate into lower mortgage rates.
Michael Becker, mortgage consultant, Green Pastures Mortgage & Finance, Lutherville, Md.
I think rates are going to decline considering Bernanke's testimony late Monday reaffirming the Fed's view that they expect to keep Fed funds at a very low rate for the foreseeable future. Also because the diminishing MBS (mortgage-backed security) issuance is keeping spreads tight between mortgages and Treasuries.
John Walsh, president, Total Mortgage Services, Milford, Conn.
Conversing with a financial planning friend of mine, we agreed that markets have not traded on fundamentals for years. Therefore, it shouldn't be surprising that rates have reached historic lows again, but I am surprised. It won't take much positive news to move them higher, so there is no reason to wait if you can benefit from a purchase or refinance. I do see rates moving up, but only if common sense and fundamentals prevail at some point.
Chris Sipe, senior mortgage consultant, Mason Dixon Funding, Frederick, Md.
We sure enjoyed record low interest rates while they lasted. Mortgage bonds seem to be running out of steam, even as the stock market continues to struggle. I don't predict a dramatic increase in the near term -- maybe 0.125 (percent) to 0.25 percent, which still yield some pretty attractive interest rates. No need to panic just yet, but if you're contemplating buying, building or refinancing, its time to consult your local mortgage professional to see how you can take advantage of still very attractive rates.
David Kuiper, mortgage planner, First Place Bank, Holland, Mich.
Look for rates to be higher after the return to the lowest rates of the year we have experienced. I would lock in now. These days will be referred to as the good old days of mortgage rates.
Jim Sahnger, mortgage consultant, Palm Beach Financial Network, Stuart, Fla.
After bouncing off the bottom, mortgage rates will settle into a range through year-end.
Greg McBride, senior financial analyst, Bankrate.com
They can't stay this low forever. Can they stay this low over the next month or so? It's a definite possibility, but I'm guessing rates will rise sooner than later.
Holden Lewis, senior reporter, Bankrate.com
About the Bankrate.com Rate Trend Index
Bankrate.com surveys experts in the banking and mortgage fields to see if they believe certificate of deposit and mortgage rates will rise, fall or remain relatively unchanged. For the deposit index, the panel comprises banks, thrifts and credit unions that directly offer FDIC-insured certificates of deposit to the end consumer. For the mortgage index, the panel comprises mortgage bankers, mortgage brokers and other industry experts who provide residential first mortgages to consumers. Results from Bankrate.com's CD Rate Trend Index will be released monthly. Results from Bankrate.com's Mortgage Rate Trend Index will be released each Thursday.