With the Federal Reserve continuing to taper stimulus spending despite a housing recovery that’s “struggling to shift into a higher gear,” Freddie Mac is forecasting  the average rate for 30-year fixed mortgages will begin rising in the second half of 2014 and end the year at “around 4.6 percent.”

Last week, the average rate for a conforming 30-year mortgage ticked down to 4.21 percent, the lowest rate in six months and 37 basis points below the three-year high rate of 4.58 percent recorded this past August.

Having averaged 6.67 percent since 1990, the all-time low rate of 3.31 percent was recorded in November of 2012.

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