Will mortgage interest rates continue to move higher this year?

The short answer: Experts believe so.

Rates are expected to inch upward in 2014 as the nation's overall economy improves and the Federal Reserve pulls back on its bond-buying program, aka "Quantitative Easing," according to Bankrate.com.

Greg McBride, a senior analyst at the financial website, expects rates to "gradually rise" throughout this year. He anticipates that today's 4.7 percent rate for a 30-year mortgage could inch to 5 percent by midyear and 5.5 percent toward the end of 2014.

"This is something that should not hinder the housing recovery because mortgage rates are increasing because of the economy, and that's getting people to buy houses," McBride said.

Mortgage rates today are still lower than the 6 percent and higher norms that preceded the last recession.

More multifamily

A new year brings in another round of news about the Lowcountry's burgeoning apartment front.

Architects have submitted plans for the development of Marsh View Place, an affordable rental community near Main Road at McLernon Trace on Johns Island, just south of U.S. Highway 17. The paperwork show 56 units in two buildings.

Charleston's Design Review Board is scheduled to take up a request for preliminary approval of the development during its meeting Thursday.

The western edge of the city has seen an uptick in apartment activity in the last year, including the ongoing construction of Element At Carolina Bay. The 276-unit community on Parklawn Drive is a project by Charleston-based multifamily giant Greystar.

Another addition for the area is Bees Ferry Apartment Homes being constructed near Glenn McConnell Parkway. The 292-unit complex is managed by Riverstone Residential Group.

Reach Tyrone Richardson at 937-5550 or twitter.com/tyrichardsonPC.