For the week of January 17, 2022

Recap of last week: Rates moved higher
Mortgage rates continuing to march higher, as markets prepare for the Fed to raise policy rates in 2022. Although the Fed doesn't set mortgage rates, the Fed's actions such as the raising of the Fed funds rate does influence mortgage rates. Markets are already reacting to the expectations the Fed will raise rates as soon as March of this year, and may raise rates more times than initially forecast as it fights to curb inflation.

Mortgage Rate Forecast: Rates could continue to move higher
Average mortgage rates this week could still move higher, as speculation increases that the Fed will be forced to raise rates sooner and more often in 2022 to fight inflation that continues to move higher. Rates are unlikely to retreat much, and consumers should be careful to avoid chasing after rates that are no longer available.

What's affecting rates this week:
- Economic data: A quiet week for economic data, nothing that is likely to influence rates this week.
- The Fed: Speculation the Fed will raise rates starting in March and more times than initially expected this year is pushing mortgage rates higher.
- Inflation: Inflation hit 7% in December, the fastest pace since 1982, pressuring rates higher.