The markets are closing 2013 just as predicted, with the stock market significantly higher and mortgage rates higher as well. As we move into 2014, we anticipate that rates will continue their slow climb higher. With that in mind, for those considering buying or Refinancing a home, the first half of 2014 looks to be the more attractive time to move forward. Home value appreciation was reported to be the strongest since 2008. Although this report is recent, we don’t anticipate this pace to continue. We do, however, anticipate solid single digit growth for the next few years. mortgage rates broke out of the nasty upward trend they have been in since November 18th. This is welcome news and a bullish sign for rates in the short term. With the volatility, locking is the safe play. Generally speaking, we will advise locking going forward, with the exception of short times when we see bursts of improvement in an upward trending rate environment.