By the end of the first quarter, rates could move to 4.2% to 4.3%, which is not likely to affect purchasers, but could dampen the enthusiasm of some owners who want to refinance their mortgages, said Jonathan Corr, CEO of Ellie Mae, a Pleasanton, Calif.-based residential mortgage software provider. Mortgage rates could increase to 4.3% to 4.5% during the year if the market believes the economy is showing indications there is improvement.
Increased interest rate volatility in 2017 could occur, said David Reiss, a law professor at the Brooklyn Law School in New York. The Trump administration has been sending out mixed signals which may result in bond investors and lenders to change their outlook more frequently than in the past.
"Borrowers should focus on locking in attractive interest rates quickly and working closely with their lender to ensure that the loan closes before the interest rate lock expires," he said. "Trump has not set forth a clear plan as to how he will achieve those goals and Congress has not signaled that it is fully on board with them. This leaves investors less confident that Trump will make good on those positions, particularly in the short-term."