Wednesday, September 22, 2021 8:31 pm

What could drive mortgage rates in 2021

By Logan Mohtashami | HousingWire

I’ve seen a number of articles lately predicting that mortgage rates will rise in 2021, a couple even from other HousingWire contributors. The rationale for these predictions have been erudite, multifactorial and complex. I am, on the other hand, a simple man. Most days I don’t even wear shoes. When I think about the direction of mortgage rates there is only one factor I consider – and that is economic growth.

Over the years I have professed that the rate of economic growth pretty much explains the whole lasagna so that should be the entire focus. When the economy gets better, bond yields rise and mortgage rates follow. When the economy slows, bond yields drop and mortgage rates follow. I expect mortgage rates in 2021 to stick to the same pattern.

The trick is to find a respectable range within each economic cycle. I started to incorporate bond yield forecasts for my yearly prediction articles and every year since 2015 I had said the same range. The 10-year yield would range between 1.60%-3%. In 2020, that range broke but continued a long-term downtrend in yields which started in 1981.

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