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Apr 7, 2010 5:58 PM by Bea Karnes, News First 5

Homebuyers scramble as mortgage rates jump

Record-low mortgage rates appear to be on the way out.

The average rate on a 30-year loan jumped from about 5 percent to more than 5.3 percent in just the past week. Rising rates are good news for people putting their homes on the market this spring. That's because buyers race to complete their purchases before rates go even higher.

The National Association of Realtors says for every percentage point the rates go up, 300,000 to 400,000 would-be buyers are priced out of the market in a given year.

Rates are going up as the economy improves and the government stops pushing to make mortgages cheaper.

Many analysts forecast rates will reach 6 percent by early next year. Any higher, and the already shaky housing recovery could stall, slowing the broader economic rebound.

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