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What will happen to interest rates in 2013?

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Interest rate forecast

You may have heard that low mortgage rates won't last forever. But they should be around in 2013.

The rate on the 30-year fixed mortgage is expected to remain below 4 percent through the first half of the year, according to the latest finance forecast by the Mortgage Bankers Association. As rates gradually increase, the 30-year may reach 4.4 percent by year's end, according to the MBA.

Rate movement in 2012

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.88 percent in 2012. While borrowers may not find rates at such low levels in 2013, mortgage rates will remain extremely attractive for refinancers and homebuyers as long as the Federal Reserve continues to pour billions of dollars into the mortgage bond market every month.

Mortgage rates

What's a consumer to do?

Borrowers who qualify and are ready to secure a mortgage today should get moving soon, because other costs associated with getting a mortgage are expected to rise in coming months. That's especially true for borrowers with small down payments.

"(Federal Housing Administration) fees are getting higher and higher, and I don't see that stopping," says Cameron Findlay, chief economist at Discover Home Loans.

Next: 2013 home equity rates forecast »

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