After falling below 3 percent for the first time in a month, mortgage rates shot higher this week after a report showed inflation continues to put pressure on the economy.

According to the latest data released Thursday by Freddie Mac, the 30-year fixed-rate average climbed to 3.1 percent with an average 0.7 point. (A point is a fee paid to a lender equal to 1 percent of the loan amount. It is in addition to the interest rate.) It was 2.98 percent a week ago and 2.72 percent a year ago.

Freddie Mac, the federally chartered mortgage investor, aggregates rates from around 80 lenders across the country to come up with weekly national averages. The survey is based on home purchase mortgages. Rates for refinances may be different. Freddie Mac uses rates for high-quality borrowers with strong credit scores and large down payments. Because of the criteria, these rates are not available to every borrower.

The 15-year fixed-rate average jumped to 2.39 percent with an average 0.6 point. It was 2.27 percent a week ago and 2.28 percent a year ago. The five-year adjustable rate average fell to 2.49 percent with an average 0.3 point. It was 2.53 percent a week ago and 2.85 percent a year ago.

“Higher inflation summons higher mortgage rates just as surely as baked beans invite ants to a picnic,” said Holden Lewis, home and mortgage specialist at NerdWallet. “The inflationary trend is pushing the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage above 3 percent for good.”

Inflation continues to run hot. A report last week by the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed prices increased 6.2 percent in October compared with a year ago, the largest annual gain in about 30 years. Overall prices rose 0.9 percent from September to October, matching June for the biggest one-month increase since the Great Recession.

Rising inflation erodes the value of bonds, causing investors to demand more in return for holding bonds. When investors buy 10-year Treasurys, they are essentially loaning the government money for 10 years. Their payment is the yield. Yields rise because they want to be paid more for their risk.

Following the release of the BLS report, the yield on the 10-year Treasury grew to its highest level in nearly a month, closing at 1.63 percent on Tuesday. It fell back to 1.6 percent on Wednesday.

“Since the beginning of October, the 10-year Treasury has traded above 1.6 percent [for] 15 days,” said James Sahnger, mortgage planner at C2 Financial. “After dropping to 1.41 percent last week, it rebounded to [1.63 percent Tuesday] and had seemed poised to run higher from renewed concerns about inflation. We may have another run lower in [mortgage] rates for a brief period but following last week’s confirmation that everything — energy, food, automobiles and housing — has been on a missile ride in year-over-year price comparisons, don’t look for rates to hang out lower for long. If you’re shopping for a mortgage, I wouldn’t wait to see what Santa will leave under the tree. It may still be stuck in a container in the Pacific. Take what you can get now.”, which puts out a weekly mortgage rate trend index, found half the experts it surveyed say rates are headed higher in the coming week.

“Inflation is the key to the near-term direction of mortgage rates,” said Gordon Miller, owner of Miller Lending Group. “The markets want to push rates higher while the Fed thinks inflation is transitory and does not require rate hikes anytime soon. Expect volatility while we battle this tug of war.”

Meanwhile, mortgage applications moved lower last week. According to the latest data from the Mortgage Bankers Association, the market composite index — a measure of total loan application volume — was down 2.8 percent from a week earlier. The purchase index rose 2 percent, but the refinance index dropped 5 percent. Refinance applications have fallen in seven of the past eight weeks. The refinance share of mortgage activity accounted for 62.9 percent of applications.

“Mortgage applications decreased last week, as a small increase in purchase activity was offset by another drop in refinance applications,” said Bob Broeksmit, president and chief executive of MBA. “Refinances comprised 63 percent of all applications, down from 70 percent the same week a year ago when rates were just under 3 percent. This fall’s higher mortgage rates and low inventory levels have not cooled home-buyer demand. Purchase applications increased for the second consecutive week and continue to trail year-ago levels only slightly.”