Housing and Mortgage Rates continue to dominate the headlines. As 2012 begins, mortgage rates are at record lows and there are plenty of experts that are weighing in on where they are going in 2012. The housing market finished strong and mortgage rates closed 2011 at some of the lowest points of all time ( Freddie Mac ).
Many expect the trend in the 4th quarter of last year will continue in the first quarter of 2012 for housing and mortgage rates, while others expect things to radically change.
Who do you believe? Here's some of the organizations that have gone on the record regarding mortgage rates and housing values:
- Home prices will rise in 2012 (says Freddie Mac)
- Home prices will fall in 2012 (says CBS News)
- Mortgage rates will rise in 2012 (says American Banker)
- Mortgage rates will fall in 2012 (ays the LA Times )
When reputable news organizations weigh in, it's hard not to believe what they are saying. However, the key to remember is that NOBODY has a crystal ball on where housing and mortgage rates will go in 2012. There is an element of personal opinion in the expert analysis along with historical data.
Other factors to consider in my opinion are as follows:
- When will the Fed QE program begin to create a higher level of inflation (inflation is bad for mortgage bonds and causes mortgage rates to go up)? However, it may be good for housing
- What is going to happen in the Eurozone? These nations are too big to save and we have no idea how much sovereign debt our banks in the US hold overseas (see MF Global)
- What will be the impact on the additional inventory banks hold or will hold on existing home values?