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Mortgage rates increased this week, breaking their six-week streak of declines just ahead of the new year.

The average rate on the 30-year fixed mortgage rose to 6.42% from 6.27% the week prior, according to Freddie Mac. That marked the first increase since mid-November when rates began retreating after the Federal Reserve signaled it would slow its interest-rate hikes amid cooling inflation.

Overall, mortgage rates have doubled this year, and that — combined with elevated home prices and surging inflation — has smothered home buying activity. As fears of a recession grow, few economists expect housing conditions to improve significantly in the short term.

“The housing market remains in the doldrums with declining sales, inventory, and prices,” Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist, said in a statement. “The declines in sales and deceleration in home prices began swiftly earlier in 2022, but have moderated more recently. While the intensity of weakness is moderating, the market continues to decline and forward-leading indicators suggest housing will remain weak throughout the winter.”