Nate Lowenstein has been shopping for a home in Los Angeles, on and off, for more than a year. His search has been stymied by a stubbornly low roster of homes on the market and the hurdles that come with it: multiple competing bids and higher prices. “It’s not a great market, from a buyer’s perspective,” said Lowenstein, a lawyer. “The one good thing is that interest rates were quite low.” As recently as last summer, homebuyers had ultra-low mortgage rates on their side. It was good news for any borrower, but especially for those in expensive housing markets like Los Angeles, Boston and Seattle. That was then. While mortgage rates remain very low by historical standards, they have risen sharply over the past couple of months, with the average rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage reaching 4.2% this past week.
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