mortgage

Mortgage Rate Trend Index

Panel prediction
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This week, a majority of the panelists believe mortgage rates will rise over the next 35 to 45 days. Roughly one-third think rates will fall, and the rest believe rates will remain relatively unchanged (plus or minus 2 basis points).

This week (Dec. 31 - Jan. 6) the experts say: Rates will probably keep rising.

Industry experts and Bankrate commentary
Experts' commentsPanel
Make that "maybe lower." We are about to have the daily tech upcross to bullish (higher prices, lower yields) while the weekly will likely remain bearish. This generally does not produce a significant rally, but we did see a healthy rally the last time this happened (about five to six weeks ago). Once the weekly tech turns around and the weekly and daily are bullish (let's guess this will happen about six weeks from now) we may well see the last bottom before the Federal Reserve stops buying agency paper at the end of March. Anyone contemplating refinancing should do so before the end of March.
Dick Lepre, senior loan officer, RPM Mortgage Inc., San Francisco
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What I said last week ... I will hold on this ... Short term, from now till the end of the month, rates will be very volatile. (A) short work week before the holidays (and) end of the year positioning will have mortgage-backed securities on a roller coaster ride the rest of the month. After Jan. 1, 2010, I expect rates to decline back to early December levels.
Kevin Breeland, general manager, Residential Mortgage of South Carolina, Mount Pleasant, S.C.
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Rates improving over next week -- then turning worse as we move further into January.
Barry Habib, CEO, Mortgage Market Guide, Holmdel, N.J.
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Rates have rocketed upward in the past few days. A big New Year's U-turn is coming.
Jeff Lazerson, president, Mortgage Grader, Laguna Niguel, Calif.
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Mortgage bonds benefit from a stronger U.S. dollar.
Dan Green, TheMortgageReports.com, Waterstone Mortgage, Cincinnati
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While the possibility exists for a slight improvement as traders return from the holiday next week, the longer term prospects remain for rates to increase due to the Fed stopping their buying of mortgages and ongoing trouble with Fannie and Freddie.
Tom Vanderwell, StraightTalkAboutMortgages.com, Fifth Third Bank, Grand Rapids, Mich.
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The recent pull-back in interest rates created a solid bid as this week's two-year and five-year Treasury auctions were well received and pushed down mortgage rates about 0.125 percent in rate.

Over the past month, fixed-income yields have approached summer highs, albeit in relatively thinly traded markets. As we move into January, fixed-income markets await clarity regarding the prospects of continued economic strength (which will put added pressure on yields) or a muddled economic landscape still on the mend causing the opposite effect. The next nonfarm payrolls data to be released Jan. 8 will be a very pivotal report for the mortgage sector.
John Walsh, president, Total Mortgage Services, Milford, Conn.
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We had a great run, but with improving economic activity and the end of the Fed stimulus to keep rates down on the horizon, rates will gradually return to their pre-stimulus range.
Mark Madsen, mortgage consultant, Raintree Mortgage, Las Vegas
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After getting routed the last 30 days, I expect that rates will remain either flat to higher. The 5 percent and under set with no points are unlikely to return. With stimulus from the MBS purchase program winding down, rates have nowhere to go but higher.
Jim Sahnger, mortgage consultant, Palm Beach Financial Network, Stuart, Fla.
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Bankrate's analystsPanel
Mortgage rates have upward momentum.
Holden Lewis, senior reporter, Bankrate.com
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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.

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