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by CareyBot

If mortgages rates are headed up -- and not everyone agrees that they are -- that could create a drag on housing markets, warns Lawrence Yun, chief economist with the National Association of Realtors.Rates on 30-year fixed-rate mortgage have been below 4 percent for 15 weeks, averaging 3.92 percent with an average 0.8 point for the week ending March 15, Freddie Mac said in releasing the results of its latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey.Mortgage rates are largely determined by investor demand for mortgage-backed securities backed by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae. If the economy picks up, MBS may fall out of favor as investors shift money out of conservative bets like bonds and into higher-risk -- and higher reward -- investments like stocks. That would push bond yields and m...