Last week, average mortgage rates fell across most loan categories, according to the latest survey from the Mortgage Bankers Association. In fact, rates for 30-year fixed-rate loans with both conforming and jumbo balances fell, as did interest rates on 15-year fixed-rate loans. Loans backed by the Federal Housing Administration rose slightly. For most of this year, mortgage rates have hovered near historic lows, providing incentive to buyers who may have otherwise been scared off by higher home prices and increased buyer competition. So what does the future hold for mortgage rates? Well, Michael Fratantoni, MBA’s chief economist and senior vice president for research and industry technology, says any increases over the next few years should be gradual. “Rate increases through 2017 and 2018 will likely be gradual, as Chair Yellen and the Fed have indicated that they are going to be cautious going forward,” Fratantoni said. “Historically low, and in some cases negative, rates around the world continue to put downward pressure on longer-term U.S. rates … We expect that the 10-year Treasury rate will stay below three percent through the end of 2018, and 30-year mortgage rates will stay below 5 percent over the same period.” More here.