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Time to panic over rising rates?

Posted by Scott Van Voorhis April 2, 2012 06:15 AM

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OK, that is pretty ridiculous, but I thought I'd throw it out there to get things moving.

Mortgage rates may very well have hit bottom, as this Globe piece suggests.

Yet even if that's the case - and rates promptly sunk back below 4 percent at the end of last week - it is likely to be a long climb back up to relatively higher rates.

Freddie Mac's forecast, according to the article, sees rates hitting 5 percent, not this summer or fall, but by late 2013!

And that would just bring rates back to the depressed levels they had hit in early 2009, when the economy and the housing market were both flat on their backs.

Before the housing market crashed, mortgage rates were hovering in the 6 to 7 percent range and that was considered good at the time.

Back during the 1980s housing boom, rates were even higher, hovering near 10 percent mark.

If your buying plans are contingent on locking in an artificially low interest rate, you are cutting things too close.

In fact, if you have to get a 3 or 4 percent rate in order to afford a home, then it's time to ask some hard questions on whether you have the financial wherewithal to become a successful homeowner.

But even if that's not the issue, don't be a fool and rush out to buy because interest rates might start edging up a point or two over the next few years.

This blog is not written or edited by or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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Scott Van Voorhis is a freelance writer who specializes in real estate and business issues.

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