Expert Poll: Mortgage Rate Trend Predictions For July 30-Aug. 5, 2020

5 min read
Rate trend index
In the week ahead (July 30-Aug. 5), 57 percent of the experts on Bankrate's panel predict rates will fall, while 43 percent of the experts foresee rates holding steady. None expect rates to rise. Calculate your monthly payment using Bankrate's mortgage calculator.

According to the World Bank, 92.9 percent of the world’s economies are contracting. The previous high was 83.8 percent during the Great Depression. A synchronous recession of this scale has never happened before.

— Dick Lepre

0% say rates will go up

None of our experts predicted rates will rise.

57% say rates will go down

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Greg McBride

CFA, chief financial analyst,

The virus spread continues to threaten the pace of economic recovery, keeping a downward influence on rates.

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Joel Naroff

President and chief economist, Naroff Economic Advisors, Holland, Pennsylvania

Virus getting worse and investors may actually think that matters.

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Dick Lepre

Senior loan officer, RPM Mortgage, Inc., San Francisco

The Treasury techs are bullish (higher prices, lower rates.) What we have at present in the U.S. is a deflationary gap. A deflationary gap is the difference between potential and actual GDP. The economy is akin to an overstocked store with too few customers. The appropriate correction is lower prices. This downward pressure on inflation should drive Treasury yields and mortgage rates lower. According to the World Bank, 92.9 percent of the world’s economies are contracting. The previous high was 83.8 percent during the Great Depression. A synchronous recession of this scale has never happened before. In 2020, global GDP per capita will experience its largest decline since 1945. While media emphasizes how bad things are in the U.S., the fact is that things are worse elsewhere. We will continue to see flight-to-quality buying of U.S. Treasury debt and GSE debt. This is likely to persist through most of 2021.

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Les Parker

CMB, managing director, Transformational Mortgage Solutions, Trevose, Pennsylvania

Here's a parody based on the famous 1964 Grammy-winning Bond movie song "Goldfinger": "Goldfinger; Jay's the man, the man with the Midas touch; A buyer's touch; Such a cold finger. Beckons you to enter his trade so thin; But don't go in." Typically, record high gold and a sinking dollar means higher rates, but the cold finger of Jay Powell spells negative real rates. So, look for mortgage rates to fall.

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Ken H. Johnson

Real estate economist, Florida Atlantic University

Down slightly. Ten-year Treasurys are below the 6-handle and will serve to keep long-term mortgage rates down for now.

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Elizabeth Rose

Sales manager, AmCap Mortgage, Dallas, TX

Mortgage bonds have broken out of the sideways pattern of recent weeks and have improved. The health crisis continues to influence the direction of mortgage bonds. I see a little improvement from here before bonds meet up with a tough ceiling and would likely be pushed back down. This is a time to be careful; the improvement could be very short lived.

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Michael Becker

Branch manager, Sierra Pacific Mortgage, White Marsh, Maryland

The FOMC just released its statement after its two-day meeting. No surprises as far as interest rates or asset purchases are concerned. They will maintain the target rate for federal funds at 0 to ¼ percent. And they will continue to increase their holdings (buy) Treasury securities as well as agency residential and commercial mortgage-backed securities. These measures will support low rates for the foreseeable future. In the short term or coming week mortgage rates will be influenced by the outlook for the economy. As the Fed said in its statement: “The path of the economy will depend significantly on the course of the virus.” Today we got a glimpse of how the economy is doing when wholesale inventories were reported. A small gain of 0.2 percent was expected for June after dropping 1.2 percent in May. Instead we got a 2 percent drop. This big miss suggests the economy will continue to struggle and because of this, I think mortgage rates will be lower in the coming week.

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James Sahnger

Mortgage planner, C2 Financial Corporation, Jupiter, Florida

Rates should improve slightly over the next week as the interest rate complex has continued to improve as the effects of COVID-19 continue to negatively impact the economy. The FOMC met today and Chair Powell stated that predicting data has been very humbling. I don't see anything changing quickly and rates will continue to benefit slightly from here.

43% say unchanged

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Gordon Miller

Owner, Miller Lending Group, LLC, Cary, North Carolina

Another exciting Fed meeting -- if you like watching paint dry. Nothing new to impact mortgage rates short term so we should likely stay in a narrow range of rates moving forward.

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Logan Mohtashami

Housing analyst, HousingWire, Irvine, California

The 10-year yield is still below my critical 0.62 percent, currently at 0.59 percent. As Congress discusses how much more disaster relief it will give, it looks like we are going to get something soon. Once something is announced that will pass, as long as it isn't a skinny extension, yields should stay flat to maybe back above 0.62 percent. However, if nothing is agreed upon, which I doubt, yields can fall. In all honestly, even around this significant event, the bond market simply refuses to break under 0.62 percent with any velocity. Also, the new case rate of growth is coming down, and by Sept. 1, we should have noticeably better virus data.

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Jennifer Kouchis

Senior vice president, real estate lending, VyStar Credit Union, Jacksonville, Florida

Rates have made some slight moves both up and down in the past week, but with the Treasury holding steady amid the Fed’s meeting, I don’t expect to see much more movement then we’ve already seen either way. Additionally, there hasn’t been any substantial updates in regards to the pandemic, which is a driving force when it comes to the market and mortgage rates.

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Nancy Vanden Houton, CFA

CFA, Senior Research Analyst, Stone & McCarthy Research Associates, New York, NY

Rates will be unchanged.

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Jeff Lazerson

President, MortgageGrader

Rates will stay steady and unchanged as the lenders try to dig out from their refinance backlogs.

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Mitch Ohlbaum

Mortgage banker, Macoy Capital Partners, Los Angeles, CA

The 10-year is almost unchanged at .576 percent even after Chairman Powell’s comments earlier today. The stock market also showed little change, which means there were no surprises and business as usual (for now). The Fed will continue to purchase residential and commercial mortgage-backed securities to keep the market liquid, which we have learned is a must for the entire economy. It is no surprise they are not moving on the Fed funds rate at this point in time as they need to keep any tools they have handy when/if things do get worse. As far as banks/lenders are concerned, they are still unwilling to lower rates any further and you might see some lenders increase rates to keep volume manageable.