According to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s Weekly Applications Survey, average mortgage rates were fairly steady at the end of 2017. In fact, 30-year fixed-rate loans with conforming balances were unchanged during the last week of the year – while jumbo loans, loans backed by the Federal Housing Administration, and 15-year mortgages all saw minor movement. All told, rates were fairly steady throughout the year, though they ended December at their highest point in months. Joel Kan, an MBA economist, told CNBC some of the bump was due to increased economic optimism. “With the passage of the tax reform bill, there were increased expectations of stronger economic growth, which pushed rates higher,” Kan said. But despite the week-to-week fluctuations, mortgage rates stayed within a narrow range throughout the year, and expectations are that they should stay relatively calm this year as well. The MBA’s weekly survey has been conducted since 1990 and covers 75 percent of all retail residential mortgage applications. More here.