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 this summer, homebuyers had ultralow mortgage rates on their side. Good news for any borrower, but especially for those in expensive housing markets like Los Angeles, Boston and Seattle. But that was then. While mortgage rates remain low by historical standards, they’ve risen sharply over the past couple of months, pushing the average rate on a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage to 4.32 percent this week. That’s the highest level since April 2014 and well above the year’s average of 3.65 percent.
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