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Mortgage Rates Edge Up After Latest  Inflation Reading

Mortgage rates climbed 13 basis points this week on the back of Tuesday’s strong inflation reading.

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 6.77% as of Feb. 15, an increase from last week’s figure of 6.64%, according to Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey released on Thursday. 

Meanwhile, the 15-year fixed rate averaged 6.12% this week, up from 5.90% during the prior week. And HousingWire’s Mortgage Rates Center showed that Polly’s average 30-year fixed rate for conventional loans was 7.09% on Thursday, up from 6.91% at the same time last week.

“On the heels of consumer prices rising more than expected, mortgage rates increased this week,” Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist, said in a statement. “The economy has been performing well so far this year and rates may stay higher for longer, potentially slowing the spring homebuying season.”

According to Freddie Mac data, purchase mortgage applications are down in more than half of all states compared to a year ago, Khater added.

Rates have been oscillating as a growing share of housing experts think that the Federal Reserve will push back its plan to cut rates, possibly until June.

This volatility has cast some uncertainty among buyers, who may choose to postpone their purchase decision until rates are lower.

“Waiting for rates to fall further later this year could make sense for some buyers,” Bright MLS chief economist Lisa Sturtevant said in a statement. “However, inventory will remain tight and prices will continue to rise in most local markets. As a result, some buyers may find it makes sense to act now if they find a home that meets their needs.” 

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