Freddie Mac said Thursday that the rate on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages jumped to 7.23% from 7.10% the previous week.

That's the highest it has been since the week ending Nov. 7, 1997, when it averaged 7.24%. One year ago, the 30-year rate averaged 7.10%.

Frank Nothaft, deputy chief economist for Freddie Mac, attributed the climb in rates to news of the biggest gain in the consumer price index in almost nine years and the Federal Reserve's announcement of its bias toward higher interest rates.

The average rate on 15-year fixed-rate mortgages also increased last week, to 6.83% from 6.71% the week before.

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