There’s a good, a bad and an ugly to low mortgage rates.

The current 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rate of 3.45% is nearing the Nov. 2012 all-time low of 3.31%. Rates have been below 4% for a year, and while they are easing the local affordable housing challenge for many buyers, they are also enhancing the inventory crunch. Consistently low rates are an incentive for owners who normally would be scaling back for retirement to upgrading and aging in place. The incentive isn’t confined to elders – the local and national housing tenure – how long an owner stays in his or her home before selling – is increasing. That means fewer homes that would normally go into the existing home resale inventory. During a National Association of Homebuilder’s market outlook webinar this week, the association’s economists and panel of experts said their 5-year forecast has mortgage interest rates gradually increasing to an average of 5%. The 1971-2020 average is 7.29%.

Categories: REAL ESTATE