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RISMEDIA, March 24, 2008-(MCT)-Potential home buyers looking for bargain mortgages in the wake of Tuesday’s rate cut by the Federal Reserve may be in for a surprise.

Local Tulsa, Oklahoma mortgage brokers said a variety of influences will likely push interest rates on home loans up in the short term.

Steven Plaisance, executive vice president of Arvest Mortgage Co., said worries over inflation have pushed the rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate home loan up slightly to a range of 6.25% to 6.5%.

“Mortgage loans try to anticipate what will happen rather than what has happened, and they’re more sensitive to day-to-day news,” he said.

Steven Admire, president of Advantage One Mortgage, said a short-term rise in mortgage rates may result from the bond market’s disappointment in the Fed not cutting its a key interest rate by a full 1%.

He said many factors, from inflation to concern over the well-being of financial institutions, will influence mortgage rates in the near future.

“Mortgage rates going forward are going to be data-dependant,” he said. “They go up and down as various economic indicators go up and down.”

He estimated that 30-year, fixed-rate home loans were going for 5.625% at his office Tuesday afternoon.

Walter Belz, senior vice president of secondary marketing at BOK Mortgage — the home lending arm of Bank of Oklahoma — said an increasing variety of influences, including concern over the economy and tightened lending in the wake of the subprime meltdown, has made mortgage rates increasingly hard to predict.

“It’s been extremely volatile,” he said. “We’ve had 1-point swings in any given day. It’s the most volatile period we’ve ever had in the credit market.”

Belz noted that, despite the current uncertainty, mortgage rates typically decrease as the economy cools. As of Tuesday afternoon, a 30-year, fixed-rate home loan went for 6% at BOK Mortgage.

Admire said no one can predict whether lending banks similar to Bear Stearns Cos. will meet their demise in the near future, whether the federal government will continue to intervene, and how mortgage rates will react.

“The only thing you can be sure of is that it’ll be volatile,” he said.

The latest information from the Mortgage Bankers Association put the average 30-year, fixed-rate home loan at 6.37% nationwide and the 15-year rate at 5.72%.

The rate on the 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage dipped just below 5.5% in January, but has risen recently.

Copyright © 2008, Tulsa World, Okla.
Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

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