Mar 9, 2017

Mortgage rates hit a 2017 high

The average fixed rate on a 30-year mortgage hit 4.21%, according to a survey by Freddie Mac.

Source: Freddie Mac

Why it doesn't matter: Higher interest rates will make it more expensive to buy a home, but in the aggregate they don't tend to significantly alter home values. That's because rising interest rates usually coincide with an improving economy.

Why it does: Higher rates do affect homebuilders, however. The Fed raises rates in order to keep a lid on inflation. But the primary transmission mechanism between Fed rates and inflation has typically been the homebuilding industry. Higher rates means less homebuilding, which filters through to the rest of the economy and keeps broad price increases low.

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