Reversing a five-week trend, fixed mortgage rates edged higher this week, with lenders telling Freddie Mac they were offering 30-year loans at an average interest rate of 4.14%, up from 4.12% last week.
The 15-year fixed mortgage, a favorite of homeowners refinancing their loans, rose from an average of 3.21% last week to 3.23%.
The start rates on adjustable loans fell slightly, according to the Freddie Mac survey, conducted each Monday through Wednesday and released on Thursday mornings.
Interest rates on fixed mortgages tend to follow the yield on 10-year Treasury notes, which moved higher during the week between surveys.
Fixed mortgage rates held fairly steady until Tuesday, when they jumped by about a tenth of a percentage point before falling back on Wednesday, said Tim Manni, managing editor at HSH.com, which tracks trends in the market.
Despite an overall decline in rates this year, mortgage lending has been weak by historical standards. That trend was reflected last week in new applications for mortgages, which fell 3.1% from the previous week on lower demand for refinance mortgages as well as loans to buy homes, the Mortgage Bankers Assn. said.
Demand for mortgages has fallen despite a gradual loosening of home lending standards since early 2012, according to the mortgage trade group.
The latest slight easing occurred in May, as jumbo home loans became more available and some lenders lowered their credit score requirements for mortgages insured by the Federal Housing Administration, the Mortgage Bankers Assn. said Thursday.
Freddie Mac's weekly survey asks lenders about the terms they are offering to solid borrowers with 20% down payments, or equivalent equity in their homes if they are refinancing.
The borrowers would have paid about 0.5% of the loan amount to the lenders in upfront fees and discount points to obtain the rates.