Trying to “time the market” is tricky when it comes to buying and selling stocks… Trying to figure out where mortgage rates will be can be just as tricky; however, there are certain aspects that can be viewed as positives towards a future outlook.
According to Freddie Mac, Mortgage rates will remain “very low”, at least through mid-2012. The Government Sponsored Enterprise (GSE) says that rates (which are currently at historic lows) should continue to stay that way due to the Federal Reserve’s program for extending the maturity date for mortgage securities it holds. The program is expected to continue through the middle of this year.
Freddie Mac also stated in its latest market outlook that this should keep fixed-rates for 15- through 30-year mortgages relatively low during the first half of the year, with rates possibly edging up during the second half. The GSE also said that the Fed’s guidance (that it will likely keep the target range for its benchmark federal funds rate near zero through mid-2013) ensures that initial interest rates for adjustable-rate mortgages (ARM’s) will also remain extremely low throughout 2012.
Freddie Mac also said in its outlook forecast that housing activity will be better in 2012, but not robust. “While the headwinds remain strong going into 2012, there are indications the economy and the housing market are gaining ground, albeit slowly,” commented Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac’s chief economist.