Former Yankees catcher Yogi Berra is as well known for his malapropisms as for his catching ability. On the former, Berra once famously quipped, “It's tough to make predictions, especially about the future.” With that thought in mind, we'll take a shot at predicting the mortgage-rate market for early 2012.

The reflexive response is to say that rates have to remain low. After all, the Federal Reserve has openly stated that it will continue to reinvest short-term securities into long-term securities. The Fed also said that it would keep reinvesting in mortgage-backed securities. Both activities will surely raise the pressure for mortgage rates to remain low.

Now, couple the Fed's resolve to hold long-term rates low with Europe 's ongoing travails and our own sluggish economy and it would appear mortgage rates would have to remain near today's levels at least through the first quarter of 2012.

With all that said, don't overlook or underestimate the “unseen” – the unexpected event that moves markets. Everything seen favors low rates, and few pundits are expecting higher rates. Because of that fact, we think the inevitable “unseen” favors a spike up in rates over a spike down.

Courtesy of Jessica Regan.

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