Each week, Bankrate surveys experts in the mortgage field to see where they believe mortgage interest rates are headed.
This week (Dec. 6-13), 31 percent of the panelists believe mortgage rates will rise over the next week or so; 31 percent think rates will fall; and 38 percent believe rates will remain relatively unchanged (plus or minus 2 basis points).
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Read the comments and rate predictions of mortgage experts and Bankrate analysts below.
President and Chief Economist, Naroff Economics, Holland, Pennsylvania
A tax cut will only lead to accelerating inflation and higher rates.
Robert A. Brusca
Chief Economist, Fact and Opinion Economics, New York
The rates will be higher.
CEO, Arcus Lending, San Jose, California
Mortgage rates moved up last week and moved down this week, effectively remaining unmoved in the last 2 weeks. The bond market (which has a direct effect on long-term fixed mortgage rates) is effectively on pause waiting to learn more about the looming government shutdown and the progress with the tax reform bill. Positive news on any of those two fronts could cause a minor sell-off of bonds resulting in higher mortgage rates for the consumers.
Branch manager, Sierra Pacific Mortgage, White Marsh, Maryland
Treasury yields and mortgage rates spiked last week once the Senate had passed its version of the tax reform bill. It seemed at the time that mortgage rates were poised to continue rising. But this week markets have turned their attention elsewhere. Concern about China’s economy, continuing tensions with North Korea, turmoil in the Middle East as a result of Trump declaring Jerusalem the capital of Israel, and a possible US government shutdown have all contributed to a flight to safety trade that has seen Treasury yields and mortgage rates drop. I would take advantage and lock in your rate.
Senior vice president of LoanLogics, Trevose, Pennsylvania
Oh, where, oh, where has the yield curve gone? Oh, where, oh, where can it be? Contrary to the short-end, the long-end does not believe inflation is just around the corner. It thinks it is lost in a sea of global debt. As the technical picture shifts away from its bearish position, it aligns with the fundamental bias of lower mortgage rates.
Senior loan officer, RPM Mortgage, San Francisco
The techs are all bullish (higher prices, lower yields) implying lower yields and rates in the coming week. Lately markets have reacted to a perception about what sort of tax bill will be reconciled and what the effects of that bill will be on various sectors of equities.
In the longer run what I see is a flattening and possible inversion of the Treasury yield curve. This creates a problem for our tech model, which is based entirely on the 30-year. The relationship between the 30-year and 10-year will change but no one knows to what extent.
Nancy Vanden Houton, CFA
Senior research analyst, Stone & McCarthy Research Associates, New York
The rates will be lower.
Greg McBride, CFA
Senior vice president and chief financial analyst, Bankrate.com
The labor market is tight, but another Fed rate hike will help keep inflation at bay and put a lid on mortgage rates.
Mortgage loan officer, Grande Financial, Maumee, Ohio
The rates will remain unchanged.
President, Americana Mortgage Group, Manhasset, New York
Rates are stable.
Senior loan officer, AMC Lending Group, Irvine, California
Again, as always, technicals matter. We are running now three quarters of a trend in 3 percent GDP growth, but the 10-year has stuck in its short term channel for the entire year. At 2.32 percent 10-year yield pricing, we have to be mindful of that 2.27 percent key line because if that breaks yields can go lower. Now that copper is fading a tad you can see a push to retest the lows near 2.02 percent on the 10-year yield. Key line is still 2.27 percent.
Vice president of capital markets, CMG Financial, San Ramon, California
Domestic financial tensions including tax reform and the debt “ceiling” are becoming front page news while foreign policy tensions continue in almost every part of the globe. While this time of year tends to be “traditionally” slow for the mortgage industry, we could be looking at a new playing field at the start of 2018. The Fed still intends to complete its final rate hike of 25 basis points and it is expected that the balance sheet unwind will start to pick up steam.
Branch manager, Alterra Home Loans, Silverdale, Washington
Look for rates to calm down from the mild roller coasters they’ve been on. To close the year out there shouldn’t be too much activity that will rock the boat; therefore rates should remain unchanged.
About the Bankrate.com Rate Trend Index
Bankrate’s panel of experts is comprised of economists, mortgage bankers, mortgage brokers and other industry experts who provide residential first mortgages to consumers. Results from Bankrate.com’s Mortgage Rate Trend Index are released each Thursday.