Dec. 14 is the date credit markets most anticipate. By 2:00 pm ET on Dec. 14, we’ll know if the Federal Reserve will raise the federal funds rate 25 basis points like it did on Dec. 16, 2015.

At this point, does it really matter?

We’re beginning to think not. Yields and interest rates have run higher over the past month. Last year at this time, we saw a similar run. Mortgage rates trended higher through much of Oct. 2015, but then they plateaued by early November.  By Dec. 2015, they were already trending lower, and they continued to trend mostly lower until early September.

You’ve likely heard the radio commercials: Lock in your mortgage rate now because the Fed is expected to raise interest rates in December. These commercials aren’t wrong; the Fed is expected to raise interest rates in December.  The question is, is the impending interest-rate hike already priced into mortgage rates?  We suspect that it is. Mortgage rates have already shown signs of plateauing (and even rolling over a bit) in the past week.

If we take past as prologue (and that’s not always a good idea), an argument can be forwarded that mortgage rates are unlikely to rise much higher. If we were to bet (again, not always a good idea), we would bet that mortgage rates won’t rise much higher, but neither will they fall much either.  A tight range, like the one maintained though August, could very well hold through the election.

Of course, that could all change after the election, so locking in a decent rate today wouldn’t be the worse decision a borrower could make.

Information provided by Jessica Regan.

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