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Mortgage rates made minor moves this week, with the average 30-year, fixed rate up to 4.42 percent from 4.40 percent the prior week, according to Freddie Mac’s recently released Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®). The average 15-year, fixed rate was 3.87 percent, the same as the prior week, and the five-year, Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable rate was 3.61 percent, down from 3.62 percent the prior week.

“Mortgage rates have been holding steady over the past two months,” says Len Kiefer, deputy chief economist at Freddie Mac. “The U.S. weekly average 30-year fixed mortgage rate was 4.42 percent in this week’s survey. Rates have bounced around 4.4 percent since mid-February.

“Rates could break out and head higher if inflation continues to firm,” Kiefer says. “The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported this week that the Consumer Price Index increased 2.4 percent over the 12 months ending in March—the largest 12-month increase in a year. Members of the Federal Reserve’s Federal Open Market Committee are looking at inflation indicators to help determine the appropriate path for policy.

“If inflation continues to trend higher, we may see two or three more rate hikes from the Fed this year, and mortgage rates could follow,” says Kiefer. “For now, mortgage rates are still quite low by historical standards, helping to support homebuyer affordability as the spring home-buying season ramps up.”

Source: Freddie Mac

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