The average mortgage rate headline among major news networks suggests things improved this week. The average headline is wrong . Don’t blame the news organization in question. They’re just taking part in the longstanding tradition of covering Freddie Mac’s weekly mortgage rate survey. Freddie did indeed report a small drop in rates versus last week, but there are several caveats . Freddie’s survey is released on Thursday morning. That might make it seem like timely enough news, even at the end of the week, but the data was already stale when it came out. Freddie accepts survey responses through Wednesday, but receives most of them on Monday . To Freddie’s credit, if we examine Monday’s rates compared to last Monday’s, they are lower by almost exactly the amount in the news. Unfortunately, things changed in the 2nd half of the week (the half that wasn’t measured by the survey). Rates rose abruptly on Wednesday and Friday following surprisingly high inflation readings in The UK and Germany. All other things being equal, higher inflation means higher rates . And higher rates abroad tend to translate to higher rates at home, albeit to a slightly lesser extent. That’s exactly how this week played out. To get a better sense of how much worse things were for Europe, the following chart shows the absolute change in 10yr bond yields over the past 4 days for the US, UK, and Germany.