Inflation in the mortgage rates driver’s seat

Don Fenley 

November’s median existing-home sales price jumped to $210,000. That’s the same level it was at the market peak in August. The reason was buyers saw that mortgage rates were ready to increase and rushed to lock in the sub 3% rates that were in place during the first half of the month.

Rates were at or just above the 3% level by the end of the month. For the week ending Dec. 2, they were at 3.11%. The trend is being driven largely by rising inflation resulting from high demand and shortages of goods across the county. Inflation is running hot, so the FED is poised to cut back bond purchases that kept mortgage rates in the basement.

Greg McBride, senior vice president and chief financial analyst at told the Washington Post, Inflation is really going to be the key ingredient going forward. If it’s stubbornly high, mortgages will go up. If it’s transitory, it will keep the lid on mortgage rates.

The current estimate is that inflation will run hot for much if not most of 2022.

Higher mortgage rates will put downward pressure on home prices, but experts don’t expect the growth rate to decline.

Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, thinks prices will rise at a “gentler pace.”

NETAR is the voice for real estate in Northeast Tennessee. It is the largest trade association in the Northeast Tennessee, Southwest Virginia region, representing over 1,800+ members and 100+ business partners involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries. Weekly market reports and information for both consumers and members are available on the NETAR website at