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

Rates will fall, but don’t count on them staying there. This week (Dec. 4 – Dec. 10) the experts say: You’re goin’ down, rates! Downtown!

Industry experts and Bankrate commentary
Experts’ comments Panel
It is gratifying that Fed Chairman Bernanke is finally giving serious consideration to directly facilitating lower 30-year mortgage rates. He will act on this during the upcoming mid-December Fed meeting when he also lowers the discount rate.
Jeff Lazerson, president, Mortgage Grader, Laguna Niguel, Calif.
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All year I have been preaching about lower rates and we are finally there. The 10-year Treasury this morning is 2.72 percent, which is down another 37 basis points in the last week. We also saw mortgage rates fall by an equal amount, which is unusual. According to ADP, and adding to the bad news, 250,000 more people lost their jobs last month, more than predicted. The continued bad economic news and the determination of the Fed to stimulate lending should not only keep rates low but drive them below 5 percent.
Mitch Ohlbaum, president, Legend Mortgage, Los Angeles
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The only thing consistent in recent months is volatility and unexpected events. Based on historical perspective, when rates hit the recent lows, they move sharply higher in coming weeks. However, poor economic news should keep a lid on rates going too much higher. If you are offered a rate that works for you, lock it! Rates have swung as much as a half point in a few hours. The only certainty in today’s rates is the one you are offered at the time you can lock it.
Jim Sahnger, mortgage consultant, Palm Beach Financial Network, Stuart, Fla.
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Continued negative economic news combined with the Fed’s announcement that it will join the Treasury in buying mortgage-backed securities will help keep interest rates as low as they have been all year. The market continues to be very volatile, and if it makes sense to buy or refinance now, please do not hesitate to do so and avoid missing out on an incredible opportunity.
David Kuiper, mortgage planner, First Place Bank, Holland, Mich.
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It couldn’t be any clearer than Ben Bernanke expressing his desire for accommodative mortgage rates. The future of interest rate predictions will be as dependent upon socio-economic-politico insight as anything else. Possibly even resulting in the obsolescence of technical analysis. The government wants lower rates and has every means available to accomplish their goal.
Dan Dowling, senior mortgage adviser/president, United Mortgage Capital Corp., Altamonte Springs, Fla.
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(It is an) Unbelievable ride with the mortgage rates. Can they go down any further? I think we are at the lowest point and they will remain here for a while and then trend back up.
Bob Moutlon, president, Americana Mortgage, Manhasset, N.Y.
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The day-to-day swings could be large, but rates will move within a tight range.
Dan Green, Mobium Mortgage, author of TheMortgageReports.com, Cincinnati
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We are in a place not seen before. Mortgage rates will not be driven by fundamentals or techs, but it appears that they may be driven to wherever the Federal Reserve wants to drive them to. The Fed is no longer operating by using its now depleted reserve of Treasuries to buy and sell. It is creating money to buy MBS and, per Bernanke’s suggestion of yesterday, even Treasuries.

I am surmising that the Fed will see value in driving conforming 30 year under 5 percent. There is still a large gap to the “stimulus” loans which at present are 1.5 percent above traditional conforming.
Dick Lepre, senior loan officer, Residential Pacific Mortgage, San Francisco

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Bankrate’s analysts Panel
A further drop in mortgage rates is likely as the Fed’s money works its way into the mortgage securities market.
Greg McBride, senior financial analyst, Bankrate.com
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When the Federal Reserve buys mortgage-backed securities, rates are going to fall.
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.