Mortgage rates have surged since early May, though the increase would have had little impact on the current report. The average rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage has jumped a full percentage point since early May and reached a two-year high of 4.51 percent in late June.
Mortgage rates jumped after Chairman Ben Bernanke said the Federal Reserve could slow its bond-buying program later this year if the economy continues to improve. The Fed's bond purchases have kept long-term interest rates low, encouraging more borrowing and spending.
In recent weeks, Bernanke and other Fed members have stressed that any change in the bond-buying program will depend on the economy's health, not a set calendar date.
Since those comments, interest rates have declined. The average on the 30-year mortgage was 4.31 percent last week.
The Fed begins a two-day policy meeting Tuesday and could clarify its remarks further when the meeting concludes on Wednesday.
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