The odds continue to rise. Last week, we reported that traders in federal funds rate futures contracts were pricing in a 74% chance the Federal Reserve will raise the fed funds rate come Dec. 16. The odds over the past week have been lifted to 78%. This means that in three weeks something will occur that hasn't occurred in nine years: the Fed will officially raise an important benchmark interest rate.

Of course, that doesn't mean current mortgage rates are a thing of the past. We've frequently mentioned that anticipation moves markets, not the actual event itself.  This is the reason we've seen mortgage rates actually hold steady, or even drift lower, over the past three weeks.  The future is priced into the present.

We're not expecting too much volatility in rates over the next couple weeks. AsDec. 16 approaches, that could change. (Another blow-out employment report, due on Dec. 4, will further raise the odds of a fed funds rate increase, but it shouldn’t do much to move interest rates more than they've already moved.)

That said, after the fed funds rate increase occurs, we wouldn't be surprised to see interest rates begin to drift higher. Not much higher, but enough to appreciate the rates available today.

 Information provided by Jessica Regan.

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