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5 housing trends for spring

Mortgage » 5 Housing Trends Spring 2014

Mortgage rates will rise -- a little

Mortgage rates will continue to head up this spring, but they are not expected to skyrocket.

The 30-year fixed rate should average about 4.9 percent by the third quarter of this year, according to the latest forecast by the Mortgage Bankers Association.

For those who are in the market for a home, it's wise to lock in a rate as soon as you can. But if you still have not found a home, there's no need to panic. While unpredictable events could cause rates to change overnight, industry observers say that rates are unlikely to go above 5 percent for now.

Don't freak out over 5 percent

Granted, that's much higher than the record lows reached last year, when the 30-year fixed reached 3.5 percent. But 5 percent is still not considered a high rate by historical standards.

"We see rates edging up for the year," says Jed Smith, managing director of quantitative research for the National Association of Realtors. "Last year, rates averaged at 4 percent; this year they will probably average 5 percent."

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