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Homebuyers scramble as mortgage rates jump

The era of record-low mortgage rates is over, reports The Associated Press today.

The average rate on a 30-year loan has jumped from about 5 percent to more than 5.3 percent in just the past week. As mortgages get more expensive, more would-be homeowners are priced out of the market — a threat to the fragile recovery in the housing market.

And if you wanted to refinance at a super-low rate, you may have missed your chance. Rates under 4 percent are still available, but only for loans that reset in five or seven years, probably to higher rates.

For people putting their homes on the market this spring, rising rates may actually be a good thing. Buyers are racing to complete their purchases and lock in something decent before rates go even higher.


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