By Kenneth R. Harney | The Washington Post
Higher mortgage rates for 2014? Count on it. Could this be the year to check out hybrid mortgages, which haven’t been popular lately? Maybe.
You can count on interest rates going higher because:
●The Federal Reserve intends to continue reducing its monthly purchases of mortgage bonds and Treasury securities, which will have the side effect of raising rates.
●The national economy finally appears to be picking up steam, based on the latest quarterly data. Higher growth rates in turn will increase demand for available credit and probably nudge rates higher.
●New federal regulations for mortgage lenders aimed at avoiding another bust take effect Jan. 10. Not only will loan officers and underwriters scrutinize applicants’ income, debt ratios and credit extra carefully, they will also probably charge more to borrowers whom they see as a higher risk. Some mortgage economists predict that conventional 30-year fixed-rate loans could go to 5.5 percent before year-end.