The 30-year fixed-rate average climbed to 4.47 percent last week, the biggest weekly increase of the year, which took it to the highest level since January 2014.

Share story

Mortgage rates broke out of their rut this week, with the 30-year fixed-rate average reaching its highest level in four years.

Freddie Mac reported Thursday that the 30-year fixed-rate average climbed to 4.47 percent with an average 0.5 point. (Points are fees paid to a lender equal to 1 percent of the loan amount.) It was 4.42 percent a week ago.

The jump of five basis points — a basis point is 0.01 percentage point — was the largest weekly increase of the year, putting the 30-year fixed rate at a level it hadn’t been at since January 2014.

On Wednesday, the Federal Reserve released its latest “beige book,” a report on regional economic conditions, which showed the U.S. economy expanding at a modest pace.

Good economic news tends to be bad for mortgage rates because a strong economy raises fears about inflation. Inflation causes fixed-income investments such as bonds to lose value, and that causes their yields to rise.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury moved steadily higher last week, rising to 2.87 percent Wednesday. Mortgage rates generally track the same path as long-term bond yields. When yields go up, home loan rates tend to go up.