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are still near record lows but they have been inching up slightly in recent weeks as the U.S. economy shows some signs of improving. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage—the most popular choice among home —reached its highest level in more than six months last week, averaging 3.63 percent, according to Mac figures.

Mortgage rates are projected to rise higher this year, which could make buying a home more expensive. But some housing analysts say that the higher rates could actually help aid the housing .

Home buyers who have been lingering on the may finally move forward on a purchase. The increasing rates may drive home the point that while borrowing is still cheap, they’d better lock in a rate now before rates move any higher.

“Rising interest rates alone are not enough to slow down the housing recovery,” Barney Hartman-Glaser, a finance professor at , told Fortune. “My sense is that underwriting standards are getting easier to satisfy, and so we would expect rates to rise as slightly more risky borrowers are brought into the fold.”

, finance professor at the University of Miami, says that the increase in mortgage rates also interestingly coincides with increased demand for loans across U.S. businesses—which also could prove positive for home sales. Commercial and industrial loans reached $1.5 trillion, up more than 12.5 percent in January from a year earlier. “The recent increase … bodes well for the future of the U.S. economy,” Heuson told Fortune. When businesses borrow more, she says that usually boosts the economy in several ways, from job growth to increasing consumer confidence as well as increasing home sales.

Source:  http://www.trulia.com/blog/jose_e_humaran/2013/03/could_rising_mortgage_rates_help_housing

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