Fixed mortgage rates remained relatively unchanged in the week ending March 7, but many Americans believe they could increase significantly in the near future as the housing market continues to find its footing.
During the week, the average rate for a 30-year FRM edged higher to 3.52 percent, from 3.51 percent, according to a report from Freddie Mac. Meanwhile, mortgage records indicate 15-year FRMs hovered at 2.76 percent, which was unchanged from a week earlier.
"With gross domestic product growing only 0.1 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012, inflation remains at bay and consequently mortgage rates low," said Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist Frank Nothaft.
Although fixed mortgage rates have hovered below 4 percent for much of the last 12 months, a recent survey conducted by Fannie Mae shows that 45 percent of Americans anticipate rates to increase considerably during the course of 2013. This marked a 4 percentage point gain from the last time the survey was conducted and the highest level since August 2011.
With a growing share of potential borrowers expecting the prospect of taking on a mortgage to become less affordable, this could result in a surge in homebuying activity as the spring homebuying season ramps up.