Markets & Economy

Mortgage rates poised to rise close to 5% in 2017

4 experts agreed that rates would go up, and also that the impact should be minimal

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Mortgage rates may be trending down at the moment -- but what comes down will go up as the year progresses, according to several key housing economists who spoke at the recent International Builders Conference in Orlando. However, the impact should be minimal, they said. The forecasts The forecast by Robert Dietz, chief economist at the National Association of Home Builders, was the worst of the bunch. He expects rates to hit 4.8 percent on average by the end of the year and jump to over 5 percent in 2018. The forecast offered by Frank Nothaft, Dietz’s counterpart at CoreLogic, is a bit less pessimistic. The former chief economist at Freddie Mac sees rates at 4.6 percent by the end of the year. And though ex-Fannie Mae Chief Economist David Berson didn’t put any numbers to his forecast, he said three adjustments in the Fed Funds rate this year and four or more next year are certain to drive loan costs higher. But Berson, who now hangs his shingle at insurance provid...