Are rates set to rise sometime soon?
Maybe. Here is what we know:
The Fed will stop buying mortgages starting at the end of March. This means that these obligations will have to be sold somewhere else, and that means rates could rise more than half a point. So you might see rates rise to more than 6%. (See this link)
It is not all bad, though, because Fannie and Freddie are going to be taking back loans which are more than 120 days past due. (See this other link) And that means that the fed will have lots of cash, and will need to do something with it. So rates might not go up too much, at least not right away.
Combined with the expiration of the $8,000 and related tax credits for buyers, I think we can see a real slowdown in the housing market coming. If you are on the fence about buying, I suggest you do it as soon as possible.