The increase in mortgage rates, a reaction to the improving economy and housing markets, could fuel already hot housing markets as potential home buyers look to seal a deal before rates rise any further, writes the Los Angeles Times.

Christopher Thornberg, head of the West L.A. consulting firm Beacon Economics, said the increases might add as much as 1 percentage point to mortgage rates by the end of next year. He said:

"I think rates will drift slowly higher. But within these ranges, home prices are still cheap compared to incomes and apartments."