Mortgage rates to increase 1%

No, that’s not a forecast starting today, but a reminder of a forecast made by the Mortgage Bankers Association and published here in January. The key sentence read: “We expect that mortgage rates are likely to stay below 4 percent through the middle of 2013, and will increase gradually as the economy improves and finish around 4.4 percent in the fourth quarter of 2013.”

Well, rates did stay below 4% until June. And once rates have got back to that level, a forecast of 4.4% by year end doesn’t sound that scary, even if the speed with which we have got there is. Any angst felt at missing the bargain basement rates of the last year (and rates are back to where they were just over a year ago when they were considered amazingly cheap) is perhaps a reflection of our common desire to snare a bargain.

It is, however, worth remembering that during the boom years of 2005 and 2006 mortgage rates averaged 5.9% and 6.4% respectively.

The bottom line remains: if you want to buy a house and can afford to, do so.