Kevin BreelandGeneral manager, Residential Mortgage of South Carolina, Mount Pleasant, S.C.
After an up-and-down week (mainly down) in mortgage-backed securities, my experience tells me the markets are still very volatile. They have struggled to get past the 25-day moving average and have had some days of falling below the 50-day moving average. I believe this will continue for an extended time frame. However, I look for rates to remain unchanged for the next seven days.
Derek EgebergCertified Mortgage Planning Specialist and branch manager, Academy Mortgage, Yuma, Ariz.
After an amazing turnaround in the stock market and bond market we ended up exactly back where we started. The momentary panic of rates going up should be a good "last call" for anyone looking to refinance or purchase while rates are at these historic low levels.
Chris KarageorgeSenior home loan adviser, Universal American Mortgage Company, Wayzata, Minn.
The trend is your friend until something changes.
David KuiperMortgage planner, First Place Bank, Holland, Mich.
Mortgage interest rates continue to trade at or near all-time low levels. This will continue to be true as long as we have a bleak employment picture. The Fed statement this week backs up this information, which is bond-friendly (where mortgage interest rates are derived from). While not many are projecting a significant decrease in interest rates, the time is right to take advantage of them.
Dick LepreSenior loan officer, RPM Mortgage, San Francisco
While the techs are still bearish -- lower prices, higher yields -- there is simply little or no belief the economy is growing. NBER (National Bureau of Economic Research) -- an independent group hired by the government to date recessions -- declared this week that the recession ended in June 2009. This is despite the fact that consumer spending started declining at the start of this year.
NBER says if we lapse back into recession, it will not be a "double dip" or a continuation of the previous one. NBER is really missing the point. The previous recession saw an uptick in gross domestic product fueled by deficit spending. It's irresponsible to ignore the fact that an intravenous dose of Keynesian spending has failed and that GDP is turning down.
Jim SahngerMortgage consultant, Palm Beach Financial Network, Stuart, Fla.
The Federal Reserve spoke this week and indicated it is committed to keeping rates low for an extended period. Mortgage rates should stay low, but volatility on a day-to-day basis should continue. Choosing the right day and window to lock is important to get the greatest savings. Since Sept. 13, the cost to obtain the lowest rate available has been anywhere from zero percent to 1 percent. Currently, we are at the low end of that scale, so now is a great time to lock.
When locking your rate on a refinance, be cautious on the window for which you lock. Many lenders are taking an extended period of time to underwrite and close files.
Chris SipeSenior loan officer, Embrace Home Loans, Frederick, Md.
Knee-jerk reactions to conflicting market reports have introduced a lot of volatility the past two weeks. However, the Federal Reserve's comments Tuesday eased concerns about inflation while voicing concerns about slowing growth. Both are good for mortgage bonds and rates. I still think we are near a bottom in rates, but they should stay relatively unchanged in the near term on the Fed's guidance.