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Seattle shines in Zillow's 2014 housing forecast

While Zillow economists predicted that mortgage rates will rise to 5 percent next year, they also said loans would be easier to obtain. (MyNorthwest file)

Seattle's healthy employment picture coupled with its consistent population growth will increase home sales in 2014 and make it the second hottest market in the country, according to Zillow, an online real estate marketplace.

While Zillow economists predicted that mortgage rates will rise to 5 percent next year, they also said loans would be easier to obtain. Curiously, the national homeownership rate, tugged down by foreclosures the past five years, will hit its lowest point in two decades, Zillow predicted.

"The silver lining to rising interest rates is that getting a loan will be easier," said Erin Lantz, Zillow's director of mortgages. "Rising rates mean lenders' refinance business will dwindle, forcing them to compete for buyers by potentially loosening their lending standards."

Salt Lake City finished on top of Zillow's list of 2014 markets. Rounding out the top five were Austin, San Jose and Miami.

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