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Mortgage and real estate news this week: Q3 mortgage rate forecast, remodel financing

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This July Fourth we may be celebrating independence from historically low mortgage rates and unusually strong housing competition. Here’s what you need to know about the mortgage and real estate landscape over the long weekend.

1. Mortgage rates are on the move

After falling to all-time lows this winter, mortgage rates have mostly trended upward through the spring. Now, experts say, they’re likely to keep inching higher over the coming months. Just how high they go though, will depend a lot on inflation. Either way, rising rates mean the mortgage market is probably going to be dominated by purchases again, rather than refis.

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2. The housing market is leveling out

The most intense days of competition over housing seem to be behind us. Available home inventories are rising, which is taking the pressure off buyers who now have more options to choose from. Industry watchers predict this trend will continue through the summer and will mean this seller’s market will be slightly less seller-friendly. Prices are likely to remain high, however.

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3. Limited pool of builders pushes up home prices

The building trades have a decades-long history of recruitment issues, and the dwindling workforce is making construction and renovation projects more expensive. Advocates say reversing the trend will require changing the way young people think about jobs in the industry.

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4. Using your equity to pay for a remodel

One of the biggest advantages to owning a home is the ability to use the equity you accumulate toward other purchases. Many homeowners opt to reinvesting those funds back into the house by drawing on their home equity to pay for renovations or remodeling projects. Check out Bankrate’s guide for the best ways to do it.

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5. Understanding LGBTQ rights in the housing market

The LGBTQ community has seen major gains in rights and recognition in the past decade, but many lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people still face discrimination from all sorts of sources. Knowing your rights when it comes to housing is crucial so you can stick up for yourself if someone is trying to pull a fast one.

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Written by
Zach Wichter
Mortgage reporter
Zach Wichter is a former mortgage reporter at Bankrate. He previously worked on the Business desk at The New York Times where he won a Loeb Award for breaking news, and covered aviation for The Points Guy.