Since late 2008, 30-year fixed-rate mortgages have been available for people with strong credit records at around 5%, near the lowest levels since the 1950s, thanks to the Federal Reserve’s heavy purchases of mortgage securities. At the end of March, the Fed is due to stop buying the securities. Most mortgage analysts think the immediate effect of the Fed’s withdrawal will be modest.

Is it time to rush out and buy a house before mortgage rates go up? As the Federal Reserve winds down its intervention in the mortgage market, rates on home loans are generally expected to rise at least modestly during the rest of this year from today’s unusually low levels. Some analysts believe mortgage rates will jump to around 6% by year end from 5% in recent weeks, while others see only a slight increase.
By James R. Hagerty, Mar. 13, 2010 WSJ

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03/13/2010 WSJ