(Freddie Mac)

Mortgage rates were pushed up slightly by mixed economic reports, according to the latest data released by Freddie Mac.

The 30-year fixed-rate average rose to 3.68 percent with an average 0.6 point. (Points are fees paid to a lender equal to 1 percent of the loan amount.) It was 3.65 percent a week ago and 4.29 percent a year ago. The 30-year fixed rate has stayed below 4 percent for more than 20 weeks, dating to November.


The 15-year fixed-rate average grew to 2.94 percent with an average 0.6 point. It was 2.92 percent a week ago and 3.38 percent a year ago. The 15-year fixed rate hasn’t been above 3 percent since March 19.

[Lenders offer new options for first-time and credit-challenged home buyers]

Hybrid adjustable rate mortgages also moved higher. The five-year ARM average edged up to 2.85 percent with an average 0.5 point. It was 2.84 percent a week ago and 3.05 percent a year ago.

The one-year ARM average climbed to 2.49 percent with an average 0.4 point. It was 2.44 percent a week ago.

Len Kiefer, Freddie Mac deputy chief economist, cited conflicting data for the upturn.

“Real GDP grew at a paltry 0.2 percent annualized rate in the first quarter of 2015, well below expectations,” Kiefer said in a statement.

[U.S. economic growth slows to 0.2 percent, grinding nearly to a halt]

“However, the National Association of Realtors’ pending home sales index rose 1.1 percent in March for the third consecutive month. The [Standard & Poor’s]/Case-Shiller National House Price Index also rose 5.0 percent in February on a yearly basis.”

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

The market composite index, a measure of total loan application volume, decreased 2.3 percent. The refinance index dropped 4 percent, while the purchase index showed no change.

The refinance share of mortgage activity accounted for 55 percent of all applications.

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