Freddie Mac: 30-year fixed-rate mortgage hits highest rate since August 2012

People interested in buying a home may want to act fast before mortgage rates get too much higher.

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage reached the highest number since August 23, 2012 for the week ending March 14, according to lending giant Freddie Mac's latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey. After hitting an all-time record low of 3.31 percent in November 2012, it has climbed to 3.63 percent in the most recent reading. This is compared to 3.92 percent at this time last year.

As for the 15-year fixed-rate mortgage, this inched up from 2.76 percent in the last survey to 2.79 percent, still significant lower than it was a year ago at 3.16 percent. 

Freddie Mac chief economist Frank Nothaft made a statement in the company's press release about this week's mortgage rates and the positive implications they have about the overall U.S. economy. 

"Fixed mortgage rates rose this week on stronger signs of jobs growth and consumer spending. The economy added 236,000 new workers in February which helped push down the unemployment rate to 7.7 percent," Nothaft said. "This helped offset the effects of the payroll tax holiday expiration and led to a 1.1 percent increase in retail sales, which was well above the market consensus forecast."

Before mortgage rates get too much higher, prospective homeowners who qualify for a loan at this time and are interested in buying a house during the busy spring season may want to take advantage of affordable rates and reasonable property prices. To prepare for a potential influx of borrowers in the coming months, lenders ought to invest in loan management software to ensure that the trend continues. This kind of program can help individuals remain financially responsible and stay on top of their monthly payments.