While many signs in the first half of 2013 indicate the housing recovery is real and palpable—housing starts are up 24 percent over the first half of 2012, existing home sales increased 32 percent year-over-year in June (excluding foreclosures and short sales), and the delinquency/foreclosure rate fell 14 percent—rising mortgage rates and low inventory have some speaking bubble talk. Mortgage credit remains tight except for those who have already proven their creditworthiness, and will probably remain so leading up to Jan. 2014 when new mortgage rules will help define what loans are risky and how lenders might have skin in the game. In addition, Generation Y members are still in their parents’ homes, and a 2013 Q2 vacancy survey reports 5.6 percent of all housing units are now vacant, up from 5.1 percent in 2009. But as HousingWire tells MHProNews, the (possible) elimination of the mortgage interest deduction and of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have the potential to seriously derail a housing market recovery.
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