Since January mortgage rates have moved up half a percentage point reaching 3.17 percent for the 30-year fixed rate mortgage, according to today’s report from Fannie Mae. The 15-year fixed rate now stands at 2.45 percent. While these rates still are at historic lows, the rate increases nonetheless leave potential home buyers with less purchasing power. During the course of the pandemic, a home has become increasingly important as buyers, largely working from home, have sought more livable space, both inside and out. As a result the strong purchase demand continues but inventory remains low with buyers outnumbering sellers.