With the housing recovery up, the spring home-buying season looks favorable.  That doesn’t diminish the question of “when are mortgage rates going up?”  Mortgage rates remain at an all-time low and home buyers across the nation are questioning where they will head this 2013.

Mortgage rates in November 2012 hit an all-time historic low, with a 30-year fixed rate mortgage being 3.31 percent with closing points at 0.7.  Since then, a gradual increase has resulted with the average rate at 3.51 percent and closing points paid at 0.8 percent since February 28th.  While there has been an increase, the average rate is still at a record low.  When compared to February 2011, the average rate is down from 3.90 percent.

Over the past five years, home prices have continued to increase.  Fewer foreclosed and distressed properties are on the market, and housing inventory is diminishing, as well- all signs of a stronger housing market.

A surge in stock prices adds to a favorable picture, and the US economy is also in a modest recovery all of which help to influence a stronger housing market.

The National Association of Realtors reports a rise in home sales with January 2013 showing a 9.1 percent increase over that of the prior year.  The housing market is experiencing the lowest supply in homes on the market since April 2005, pushing home prices up.  Year over year stats show an increase of 12.3 percent with the nation’s median home price being $173,600 as of January 2013.

New home construction is also on the rise at an increase of 28 percent when compared to 2011.  This data is according to the US Department of Commerce.  The construction industry has not experienced such a high level since 2008.

Now, the question remains, “Where are mortgage rates heading in 2013?”

The US government bond buying program is one factor driving the nation’s record low mortgage rates.  Another factor is a rise in the economy.  Now both are positive influences and we can expect a steady rise in mortgage rates for 2013.

Stock prices have been surging, home prices have been increasing, and with a stronger economy that is projected to slowly recover, mortgage rates will rise, as well.

Many experts project the rates to remain low throughout 2013; making this the year to purchase.  However, if the economy suddenly starts to take off, there will be a hike in mortgage rate.

This is a time when mortgage rates are at a historic low and a period that everyone will look back on with amazement- especially those that don’t take advantage of this wonderful time to invest.