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Homeowners will likely look at the past year of mortgage rate performance with fondness or even regret as the days of historic lows fade.

Based on recent Freddie Mac reports, 30-year fixed-rate mortgages (FRM) at 3.14%, are breaking from months of sub-3% lows that captured headlines throughout 2021. Economists and real estate experts agree that recent upticks in rates mark an inevitable trend that is likely to last well into the next year as the housing market heads toward its post-pandemic equilibrium.

“We expect a somewhat gradual increase throughout the rest of this year and going into 2022,” says Joel Kan, chief economist at the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), which expects rates to climb gradually to nearly 4% by the end of next year.