Thanks to the Federal Reserve’s promise to keep interest rates low through 2013, mortgage rates will likely remain relatively low as well in the coming months. However, say analysts, if you want to take advantage of the record-low rates that closed out 2011, it would behoove you to get a move on. Forecasts indicate that while “rates will still be low by historical standards” they are likely to edge up in the coming months to an average 4.5 percent for 2012. By 2013, the numbers will be even higher, hovering around 5.4 percent, according to Freddie Mac economists[1]. Before you get excited about a looming housing recovery thanks to historic home affordability, though, think again, say those same economists. Until something checks high unemployment numbers and would-be buyers feel secure enough to apply for mortgages and have the financial wherewithal to get approved for them, don’t look for a swift recovery in real estate[2]. Sure, “there may be a little bit of an uptick in units sold, says Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist Doug Duncan, but the actual dollar amounts moved per transaction will go down in the coming year, essentially keeping the “total dollars spent on purchases” about level with the year before.

How are low interest rates affecting your real estate investing and real estate purchases? Are you following the trends?

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[1] http://realtormag.realtor.org/daily-news/2012/01/03/how-long-will-low-mortgage-rates-last

[2] http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-mortgage-rates-20120103,0,2240865.story