Rising Mortgage Rates Help, but Also Hurt, Banks

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By Aaron Back

Banks in the U.S. have much to be thankful for this holiday season. Higher rates on mortgages aren’t necessarily on the list.

The average rate on a 30-year fixed conforming mortgage has risen to 4.16%, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association, up from post-Brexit lows around 3.6%. Higher rates normally are good for lenders as they help them earn more on loans. Mortgages are a special case. Most are sold off to Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac and then packaged into securities. The portion held by banks stands at just a third.

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