Mortgage Rate Trend Index
Will rates rise or remain relatively unchanged? Experts and Bankrate analysts provide their insights.
This week (May 6 – May 12) the experts say: Forty-seven percent of the panelists believe mortgage rates will rise over the next week or so. Eighteen percent think rates will fall, and 35 percent believe rates will remain relatively unchanged (plus or minus 2 basis points).
Industry experts and Bankrate commentary
The fear that a financial contagion may spread to other PIIGS has resulted in investors flocking to the safety of U.S. Treasuries. This has led to a rally in other fixed investments like mortgage-backed securities, which has helped keep mortgage rates low. There is still much debt that needs to be either paid down or defaulted. This destruction of credit is deflationary and will result in mortgage rates staying low or perhaps even going lower in the coming months.
Michael Becker, mortgage banker, Happy Mortgage, Lutherville, Md.
Due to the ongoing Greece debt issues -- along with problems in Portugal and Italy -- I believe there will still be a "flight to quality." Because of this, I say rates will be unchanged for one more week. However, I believe this position will change soon. Try not to leave any money on the table -- lock 'em if you got 'em.
Kevin Breeland, general manager, Residential Mortgage of South Carolina, Mount Pleasant, S.C.
Apparently, the Greek debt crisis ain't over till it's over. And rates stay steady till it is.
Dan Green, Waterstone Mortgage, author of TheMortgageReports.com, Cincinnati
Mortgage rates continue to be stable for the time being. Continued international financial unrest has money moving into bonds (including mortgage-backed securities), which are perceived as a safe investment vehicle during uncertain times. This has allowed mortgage rates to actually drop slightly over the previous week. With rates having little room to fall further -- and plenty of room to rise -- now is a very wise time to take advantage of the gift of low interest rates.
David Kuiper, mortgage planner, First Place Bank, Holland, Mich.
Euro zone contagion from the problems of Greece provided lower U.S. Treasury yields which eased the concern about the long-term massive problems we will have from fiscal deficits in addition to structural deficits from Social Security and Medicare. An inevitable massive upward move in Treasury yields is lurking. With no conceivable way to service the nation's debt, investors will demand higher returns. This is a problem politicians are incapable of addressing before it is a disaster.
Dick Lepre, senior loan officer, RPM Mortgage, San Francisco
The 10-year Treasury closed recently at 3.61 percent, which is a whopping 40 basis points from the high just about a month ago. We did not see a corresponding drop in rates, however, which means lenders are increasing their spread on mortgages. There should be a good opportunity to lock in rates in the next few days.
Mitch Ohlbaum, loan officer, Bank of America, Los Angeles
Rates have seen a bit of an improvement in the last week based on a flight to safety from overseas concerns. Look for this to be somewhat short-lived and if floating, take the bonus, lock and move on. If you have yet to refinance but could benefit, pick up the phone and get started.
Jim Sahnger, mortgage consultant, Palm Beach Financial Network, Stuart, Fla.
This week's employment data could cause more bad than good for mortgage rates, so lock in at what you can afford and do it quick.
Tommy Xintaris, senior mortgage consultant, Houston
Mortgage rates have retreated in response to European debt worries, providing a nice opportunity to lock in. A strong employment report could push rates back up again.
Greg McBride, CFA, senior financial analyst, Bankrate.com, North Palm Beach, Fla.
Rates dipped this week. By definition, a dip is a downside followed by an upside. Will the euro debt crisis depress U.S. mortgage rates for more than a week or two? It's quite possible. But I wouldn't bet my mortgage payment on it. In this case, the "flight to safety" is locking a low rate while you can.
Holden Lewis, senior reporter, Bankrate.com, North Palm Beach, Fla.
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.