Mortgage rates inched up this past week, but still remain below the 5% threshold as the market approaches home-buying season, Freddie Mac said Thursday. The 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage rose to 4.91% from 4.87% the previous week, but lower than last year’s rate of 5.07%. The 15-year, fixed-rate mortgage climbed to 4.13% from 4.1% and remains below the 4.4% a year earlier. At the same time, the five-year hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage hit 3.78% this week, up from 3.72% last week yet lower than 4.08% a year earlier. “Mortgage rates edged up following a light week of economic data releases,” said Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist of Freddie Mac. “Although rates on 30-year fixed mortgages have risen four weeks in a row, they have remained below 5% for eight straight weeks now, helping to maintain affordability in the housing market. Meanwhile, consumer purchases of retail goods rose for the ninth consecutive month in March, suggesting families have an increasing capacity to spend, which bodes well for the economic recovery.” Bankrate said Thursday mortgage rates were mostly lower, with the 30-year, FRM now at 5.07%, the 15-year FRM at 4.28% and the 30-year jumbo at 5.55%. “Adjustable rate mortgages were also lower, with the average five-year ARM sinking to 3.83% and the seven-year ARM pulling back to 4.19%,” according to Bankrate. Write to Kerri Panchuk.

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