Freddie Mac: Mortgage Rates Should Stay Below 4% in 2013

Long-term mortgage rates will remain near their record lows for the first half of 2013, then rise gradually in the second half of the year – but remaining below 4 percent, according to Freddie Mac’s latest housing market outlook.
Additionally, property values should continue to increase steadily, with most U.S. house price indexes moving up 2 to 3 percent in 2013.
The 30-year fixed rate mortgage has averaged below 4.00 percent all but one week in 2012, while the 15-year fixed-rate mortgage has averaged below 3.00 percent since the last week in May. The 30-year set a new low of 3.31 percent last month.
“The last few months have brought a spate of favorable news on the U.S. housing market with construction up, more home sales, and home-value growth turning positive,” said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist.
This represents a big rebound from a year ago, when a looming ‘shadow inventory’ was forecast by many analysts to keep the housing sector “mired in an economic depression,” Northaft said.
Freddie Mac also sees the refinance boom continuing into early 2013, but taper off. Single-family mortgage originations will decline by 15 percent, but multifamily-unit lending will increase approximately 5 percent.
See Northaft’s overview:

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