2014 Forecast Predicts Easier Credit Access, Lower Homeownership

Julie C. Nichols General

M Report – Tory Barringer

Zillow expects conditions next year to be a bit friendlier to homebuyers—but that doesn’t mean we’ll necessarily see more owner-occupied housing, experts at the real estate marketplace say. Looking at ongoing trends, Zillow made four major predictions about the course of housing over 2014: First, home values are forecast to rise by 3 percent at the national level over the year. Second, the company predicts mortgage rates will reach 5 percent by the end of the year—a level not seen since early 2010—as the economy improves and the Federal Reserve adapts its policies.

That news may not be as bright for buyers, but Erin Lantz, director of mortgages for Zillow, says it’s important to keep perspective. For its third prediction, Zillow again turned to the positive, forecasting a clearer road to mortgage credit. And finally, the last prediction: Homeownership rates will fall to their lowest level in nearly two decades, dipping below 65 percent for the first time since 1995.

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