Labor market optimism, continued vaccination roll-out and additional stimulus spending helped to push the average mortgage rate for a 30-year fixed loan up three basis points last week to 3.05%, according to Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey.

This is the second consecutive week rates have risen above 3% — a trend not seen since July of 2020. At its current pace, the Mortgage Bankers Association is forecasting rates will reach nearly 3.5% by the end of 2021.

“But even as rates rise modestly, the housing market remains healthy and on the cusp of spring home-buying season,” said Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist.

So long as rates stay in this 3% neighborhood and do not quickly climb above 4%, potential homebuyers will likely not be dissuaded by the

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