Greg McBride of Bankrate breaks down mortgage rate expectations

Long-term movement in rates is of more interest
  • Benchmark short-term interest rates went up in December, but won't in January.
  • The raise in the rate last month means economic confidence.
  • Buyers enter the market when they need to, but those already in look at longer term rates for more optional purchase, or as an investment strategy.

As was widely expected, the Federal Reserve raised the benchmark short-term interest rate at its Dec. 19 meeting. It had been at zero for seven years prior to the quarter-point increase. Greg McBride, CFA, and senior financial analyst at, said to expect gradual adjustments to the prime rate over the course of 2016.