Rising rates an election-year reality

Housing market should expect some pain

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The number of presidential television advertisements seems to be overwhelming for May and June. The election still is in November, isn't it? Perhaps the candidates feel there are more negatives in the mix this year so an earlier damage-control campaign is in order. One factor is that mortgage interest rates stand a very good chance of going up a tick, contrary to the popular perception of election year rate movements. Most real estate analysts and economists say home loan rates could be a full percentage point higher (rising from approximately 6 percent to 7 percent) by the end of 2004. "The number is going to be higher than what we've been used to the past few years," said John Tuccillo, former chief economist for the National Association of Realtors and now a housing consultant and author. "It's also going to bring a little pain to the housing market." In reality, for the past 40 years, the chances of interest rates declining during a presidential election year have been poor. W...