For the week of August 16, 2021

Recap of last week: Rates slightly worse
Average mortgage rates worsened early last week as markets grew concerned that recent data would cause the Fed to announce tapering of bond purchases later this year. The Fed's bond purchases are what have kept mortgage rates at record lows since the start of the pandemic.

Mortgage Rate Forecast: Rates could improve
Average mortgage rates this week are poised to improve at least slightly, as long as markets don't get any news that reignites concern about Fed bond tapering. Even though rates have crept higher the last couple of weeks they remain near recent lows, making it a great time to buy a home or refinance.

What's affecting rates this week:
- Fed speakers: Comments from Fed officials have been pressuring rates lately, and this week has more Fed members speaking.
- Fed stimulus: The Fed continues to buy Treasuries and mortgage bonds, helping keep mortgage rates low. If we see market concerns grow around speculation that the Fed could reduce bond purchases by the end of the year it could pressure rates higher.
- Economic data: Lots of housing data this week, but that shouldn't affect rates. The minutes from last month's Fed meeting are released on Wednesday, and could cause some small movement.