(Jason Reed/Reuters)

Mortgage rates held steady this week heading into the holiday weekend but remained below what they were a year ago, according to the latest data released Thursday by Freddie Mac.

Mortgage chart July 3

The 30-year fixed-rate average dropped to 4.12 percent with an average 0.5 point, matching its lowest level of the year set in late May. It was 4.14 a week ago and 4.29 percent a year ago. Since starting the year at 4.53 percent, the 30-year fixed rate has plummeted 41 basis points.

The 15-year fixed-rate average was unchanged from the previous week at 3.22 percent with an average 0.5 point. It was 3.39 percent a year ago. The 15-year fixed rate is down 33 basis points from the first of the year.

Hybrid adjustable rate mortgages also were flat. The five-year ARM average was 2.98 percent with an average 0.4 point, the same as a week ago and just the third time this year it has been below 3 percent. It was 3.1 percent a year ago.

The one-year ARM average fell to 2.38 percent with an average 0.4 point. It was 2.4 percent a week ago.

“Mortgage rates were little changed from the previous week and remain below levels seen the same time last year, which should provide some help with homebuyer affordability in many markets,” Frank E. Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist, said in a statement.

“Recent housing data was better with pending home sales up 6.1 percent in May and overall construction spending showing a slight improvement with private residential spending now up 7.5 percent on yearly basis.”

Meanwhile, mortgage applications waned last week, according to the latest data from the Mortgage Bankers Association.

The market composite index, a measure of total loan application volume, fell 0.2 percent. The refinance index increased 0.1 percent, while the purchase index dropped 1 percent.

The refinance share of mortgage activity accounted for 53 percent of all applications.