Rates continue climbing as prospects of another stimulus bill get better. The 30-year fixed rate mortgage increased 12 basis points to 3.26%, 6 basis points higher than where it was a year ago. Additionally, the 15-year increased 10 basis points to 2.62%, 13 basis points shy of its level from last year.
The Senate passed a $1.9 trillion COVID-relief bill over the weekend, a major milestone to renewing unemployment benefits before they are set to expire on March 14. In reaction to this development and improved vaccine rollout, rates have been steadily moving up. Fortunately, this has yet to have an adverse effect on mortgage applications; in the first two weeks of February, purchase locks were up 37% from last year and refinance locks were more than double what they were last year. However, Black Knight Mortgage Monitor predicts these high rates will eventually catch up to the mortgage industry either by the end of this quarter or at the beginning of the next one.