Mortgage interest rates in the United States are creeping up to 6 percent. The average interest rate for a traditional 30 year mortgage was 5.91 percent on Friday. This is up from 5.71 percent from earlier in the month and 5.53 percent back in July, according to a recent survey of mortgage lenders. Mortgage interest rates are determined partly by the interest rates on certain U.S. Treasury bonds. These interest rates, or bond yields, are currently the focus of the Federal Reserve’s scrutiny of lenders and inflation damage control. Interest rate hikes means that prospective homeowners get less home for their purchase. Because of this, fixed interest rate mortgage loans above 6 percent could put a damper on the red-hot housing market and double-digit home appreciation in many areas. For the short term, this jump in mortgage interest rates could increase sales. When homebuyers anticipate an interest rate hike in the near future, that may provide the push they need to buy a new home. This is also a good incentive to refinance your current mortgage, especially if you have a variable interest rate or an option loan.