mortgage

Mortgage Rate Trend Index

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Will rates rise or remain relatively unchanged? Experts and Bankrate analysts provide their insights.

This week (Feb. 18 - Feb. 24) the experts say: Rates will remain steady or maybe rise. This week, about three-quarters of the panelists believe mortgage rates will remain unchanged (plus or minus 2 basis points) over the next week or so, and the rest believe rates will rise. No one predicted a further drop in rates.

Industry experts and Bankrate commentary
Experts' commentsPanel
I think rates are flat for now.
Bob Moulton, president, Americana Mortgage, Manhasset, N.Y.
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Markets are in a tug of war -- it's geopolitics versus the Fed.
Dan Green, TheMortgageReports.com, Waterstone Mortgage, Cincinnati
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While in the short term Treasury yields and mortgage rates should be flat, it would be a mistake to overlook the fact that when the Fed stops buying agency paper at the end of next month we will see a spike in rates of, perhaps, 0.5 percent.
Dick Lepre, senior loan officer, RPM Mortgage Inc., San Francisco
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I have some concerns with rising oil prices but the Greece debt crisis seems to be under control, so for one more week I expect no change.
Kevin Breeland, general manager, Residential Mortgage of South Carolina, Mount Pleasant, S.C.
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Phase II of the economic stimulus package is supposed to start soon. The government could instantly stimulate the real estate economy by waiving appraisal requirements for rate and term refinancers -- meaning no cash-out. This will certainly do more than anything to prevent homeowners from mailing back their keys to their lenders. Out-of-the-box thinking is a must to stop the cascading foreclosures.
Jeff Lazerson, president, Mortgage Grader, Laguna Niguel, Calif.
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Mortgage bonds continue to trade in a very narrow range, with rates hovering right around 5 percent. Fears of inflation (bad for bonds) are being tempered by money being moved to the safety of bonds (good for bonds). With interest rates poised to begin rising (unannounced and quite volatile) now is a great time to consult your local mortgage professional to see what today's low rate environment could mean for you.
David Kuiper, mortgage planner, First Place Bank, Holland, Mich.
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While I still believe long term is higher as we inch our way toward the end of March, the markets continue to hold rates in marginally in check. We benefited this week from drop in rates, but do not look for rates to go lower. I am inclined to lock at application to preserve the rates we have.
Jim Sahnger, mortgage consultant, Palm Beach Financial Network, Stuart, Fla.
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The markets haven't reacted to recent economic data the way that I anticipated they would. Rates could move either direction over the next week, so I'm advising my clients to consider locking vs. floating while rates are still comparatively low.
Mark Madsen, mortgage consultant, Raintree Mortgage, Las Vegas
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Some members of the Fed said Wednesday that they would like to begin selling some of their MBS holdings "in the near future." Remember they are wrapping up a $1.25 trillion MBS purchase program at the end of March. By the Fed's own studies, purchasing MBS' drove rates down. Selling them could drive rates up. So far the market believes they will not sell holdings any time soon.
Chris Karageorge, MinnesotaMortgageDaily.com, Universal American Mortgage Co., Wayzata, Minn.
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Bankrate's analystsPanel
If this week's inflation readings are tame, mortgage rates won't move much.
Greg McBride, CFA, senior financial analyst, Bankrate.com, North Palm Beach, Fla.
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Rates held steady for a week, then dipped this week -- shortly before the Fed exits the mortgage-backed securities market. This could be the bottom. It's time to lock, folks. Rates could start rising before the end of March, not at the end of March.
Holden Lewis, senior reporter, Bankrate.com, North Palm Beach, Fla.
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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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