The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage followed suit, up to an average of 5.25% from 5.14% the previous week. Last year, the 15-year fixed rate averaged 2.93%.

The increase in long-term rates comes after four straight weeks of decreases. Mortgage rates have eased from the 7% peak seen in November as the Fed slowed down its monetary policy tightening. The better-than-expected job growth in January also reduced the likelihood of a recession.

However, Marty Green, principal at Polunsky Beitel Green, expects the latest jobs report to prompt the Federal Reserve to increase interest rates by another quarter point at its March meeting.

“If the Federal Reserve sees wage pressures as a result of too robust a job market, the quarter-point interest rate increases could continue at several more meetings in the coming months,” Green said. “Markets currently only forecast two more such increases before the Federal Reserve.”

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