(Jason Reed/Reuters)

Mortgage rates were flat this week, continuing to hover at lows not seen in the past three years.

With the markets seemingly waiting for the outcome of the Federal Reserve’s meeting next week, home loan rates have barely budged.

If the Fed indicates it is considering bumping up its benchmark rate again that may push rates higher, but that seems unlikely at this point. Bankrate.com, which puts out a weekly mortgage rate trend index, found that more than two-thirds of the experts it surveyed believe rates will remain relatively unchanged in the coming week.

According to the latest data released Thursday by Freddie Mac, the 30-year fixed-rate average inched up to 3.59 percent with an average 0.6 point. (Points are fees paid to a lender equal to 1 percent of the loan amount.) It was 3.58 percent a week ago and 3.65 percent a year ago. The 30-year fixed rate has hovered between 3.59 percent and 3.58 percent the past three weeks.

The 15-year fixed-rate average edged down to 2.85 percent with an average 0.5 point. It was 2.86 percent a week ago and 2.92 percent a year ago.  The 15-year fixed-rate has fallen 14 basis points in the past five weeks.

The five-year adjustable rate average dropped to 2.81 percent with an average 0.5 point. It was 2.84 percent a week ago, the same as it was a year ago.

“Volatility in financial markets subsided over the past week, allowing Treasury yields to stabilize,” Sean Becketti, Freddie Mac chief economist, said in a statement.

“As a result, the 30-year mortgage rate was mostly flat, up only 1 basis point to 3.59 percent. The release of March’s existing-home sales report, which shows monthly growth at 5.1 percent, suggests homebuyers are taking advantage of low mortgage rates as the spring homebuying season gets underway.”

Meanwhile, mortgage applications were slightly higher, according to the latest data from the Mortgage Bankers Association.

The market composite index — a measure of total loan application volume — rose 1.3 percent from the previous week. The refinance index increased 3 percent, while the purchase index crept up 1 percent.

The refinance share of mortgage activity accounted for 55.4 percent of all applications.