Get ready. Although the Fed's key interest rate has minimal short-term effect on mortgage rates, it appears that rates are heading higher. Reuters reports:

The case for raising U.S. interest rates has strengthened in recent months because of improvements in the labor market and expectations for moderate economic growth, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said on Friday.

Yellen did not indicate when the U.S. central bank might raise rates, but her comments reinforced the view that such a move could come later this year. The Fed has policy meetings scheduled in September, November and December.

Speaking at a three-day international gathering of central bankers in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, Yellen said the "U.S. economy was nearing the Federal Reserve's statutory goals of maximum employment and price stability."

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