The Mortgage Bankers Association expects the interest rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage to jump from 6.2 percent to 6.5 percent by the end of the third quarter, as investors lose hope that the Federal Reserve will slash short-term rates any time soon. In a long-term forecast released this week, MBA Chief Economist Doug Duncan predicted existing-home sales will decline by about 7 percent this year compared to 2006, and that sales of new homes will decline by about 8 percent. Sales in both categories are projected to rebound in 2008 by about 3 percent and 1 percent, respectively, in 2009. Duncan expects existing-home price appreciation to slow "significantly" over the next three years, and that median prices should remain relatively flat for new and existing homes. Price gains for b...
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