You can't time mortgage rates any more than you can time the stock market, but that hasn't stopped any number of my friends and colleagues from begging me to tell them if rates are going up or heading further down.
I have no idea.
What I do know is that borrowers are more sensitive now to mortgage rates than ever before in my memory, even as rates continue to hover near record lows.
All you have to do is look at last week's data on mortgage applications from the Mortgage Bankers Association. Rates jumped up over a quarter point, and applications to refinance plummeted 16.5 percent. Applications to purchase a home, which you would think would be far less sensitive to weekly rates, also dropped, albeit just 5 percent, but that was after many weeks of increases.
I thought it might be interesting to take a look at how applications run with rates. Take a look first at the last three months of rates compared to refis. You can see a definite correlation that when rates go down, applications go up. That's an easy one because a lot of refinancing is really just gambling with time.