For the week of December 20th, 2021

Recap of last week: Rates remained low
Average mortgage rates ended the week slightly better, mostly in the form of lower closing costs, with the middle of the week being a bit volatile around the Fed meeting and press conference. The Fed did announce it would be tapering bond purchases faster, reducing monetary stimulus and opening the door to rate hikes sooner in 2022. The Fed is expected to raise policy rates next year, to help curb inflation which has become an issue as the economy recovers from the pandemic.

Mortgage Rate Forecast: Rates will remain low, possibly improve
Average mortgage rates this week should remain low, and could improve some although a significant drop in rates is unlikely. Markets get a bit choppy this time of year as investors take the rest of the year off, but we aren't likely to see any big moves either way.

What's affecting rates this week:
- Economic data: The Fed's favorite inflation gauge will be released Thursday morning and may play a role in rates that day. Otherwise it is a quiet week.
- Holiday market closures: The bond market and most lenders will be closed early on Thursday and all day Friday in observance of Christmas.
- Omicron concerns: Playing a small role in helping to keep rates low this week.