Each week, Bankrate surveys experts in the mortgage field to see where they believe mortgage interest rates are headed.
This week (Dec. 12-Dec. 18), 45 percent of panelists believe mortgage rates will rise over the next week or so; 18 percent think rates will fall; and 36 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.
45% say rates will go up
Branch manager, Sierra Pacific Mortgage, White Marsh, Maryland
Currently, stocks are surging and bonds are slightly weaker. Once again it’s renewed optimism of a thawing in U.S.-China trade relations that’s causing the movement in markets. President Trump said he would intervene in the Huawei case to get a trade deal with China and was ready to meet with President Xi Jinping for a second time. This optimism moves markets more than economic data. Looking forward, we have a Fed meeting next week. Most people expect the Fed to hike rates another .25 percent. More important than that, will be their take on the global economy and whether they see it softening. Since rates tend to rise leading into Fed meetings, I expect that will continue and we will have slightly higher rates next week.
Certified mortgage planning specialist and branch manager,
Academy Mortgage, Yuma, Arizona
Rates will rise. With the end of year near, look for trading to slow and rates to rise.
Senior loan officer,
RPM Mortgage, San Francisco
Rates will rise. The daily tech is turning bearish (lower prices, higher yields) after an extended and powerful bull cycle. The weekly is still bullish. Expect a minimal increase in Treasury yields in the next week. Note that the longer-term picture remains bullish. We will start a secular bull market soon.
Greg McBride, CFA
Senior vice president and chief financial analyst, Bankrate.com
A slight rebound following the recent pullback but it will be a modest increase given the prevailing worries about trade and slower economic growth in 2019.
President and Chief Economist, Naroff Economics, Holland, Pennsylvania
Rates will be up. Trade fears ease, for whatever reason it may be.
18% say rates will go down
Robert A. Brusca
Fact and Opinion Economics, New York
Rates will be lower.
Managing director of Transformational Mortgage Solutions, Trevose, Pennsylvania
Mortgage Rates will fall. Here’s a parody to feel Prime Minister May’s dilemma written by Harry Nilsson, “Coconut” (1971): “May put the line on the no-no-nut, she call’d the EU, woke ’em up; And said, “Merkel, ain’t there nothin’ I can take?”“ The BREXIT May-hem continues. Emerging markets are under pressure from continued global economic malaise and U.S. strength. Expect investor attention to foreign affairs and oil to drive rates lower.
36% say rates will remain unchanged
Nancy Vanden Houten, CFA
Senior research analyst,
Stone and McCarthy Research Associates, New York
Rates will stay the same.
Senior loan officer, AMC Lending Group, Irvine, California
Rates will be unchanged. Last week the 10-year yield was at 2.91 percent and right now it’s at 2.90 percent. A lot has happened in the market in the past week but roughly we are unchanged even though yields got as low as 2.83 percent recently. This is the key, until we close below 2.79 percent with next-day bond buying, we are going to be in a range between 2.79 percent and 3.05 percent on the 10-year yield. Oil drop and inflation expectation drop has been massive and we are more done with that process now after the OPEC cut in oil production. At worst case, oil goes down to $43.
Mortgage planner, C2 Financial Corporation, Palm Beach Gardens, Florida
Rates will be unchanged. Volatility is the norm today as, just this month, we have seen a range of 1500 points in the stock market and over 20 basis points in the 10-Year Treasury alone. The reasons range from continued strife about trade, Brexit, inflation to the Fed, just to name a few. This months data on inflation was tame with both PPI and CPI within expectations. Eyes turn to the Fed meeting next week where Fed funds is expected to be kicked up .25 percent and then to Europe with Brexit talks and China as trade discussions continue. All this should be just enough to keep rates in check, for the week anyway.
Arcus Lending, San Jose, California
Mortgage rates will remain the same. After going up for three back-to-back weeks, mortgage backed securities (MBS) lost some points last week. MBS pricing directly impacts the mortgage rates. It seems MBS have clearly peaked and we may not see any more uptick above last week’s highs. However, an implosion with Brexit or China can change that, but even that might be short-lived. So, expect the mortgage rates to remain mostly stable or see a small rise.
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.