Housing predictions for 2015 are rolling in, and here's the latest: Mortgage interest rates will rise this year, but the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is expected to remain below 5 percent this year. That's according to Greg McBride, chief financial analyst for Bankrate.com.

"We'll see rates near 4 percent on the low side if there's an economic stumble or geopolitical crisis, and rates as high as 4.8 or 4.9 percent if the Fed missteps or misspeaks," McBride says.

McBride considers a "misstep" or "misspeak" a situation in which the Fed might raise its rates too much or too quickly, or accidentally signal an intention to do so. In its annual forecast, Bankrate said the Mortgage Bankers Association expects the Fed to hold off on its first increase in the federal funds rate until mid-2015.

Should prospective buyers fret? No.  "We're talking about very measured increases and an environment of strong lender competition," noted McBride. "That works in favor of home equity borrowers."

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