As demand for Treasurys decreases, investors demand higher yields from the government. Mortgage rates tend to track those yields.
Those yields have risen from yearly lows as the economic picture brightened over the past month. They climbed again Wednesday after reports showed factories boosting production, auto sales rising and many regions of the country seeing stronger economic growth.
The low rates have had a limited impact on the struggling housing market. The number of people signing contracts to buy homes increased for the third straight month in October, the National Association of Realtors said Thursday. But contract signings remained low after hitting a decade low in June.
To calculate average mortgage rates, Freddie Mac collects rates from lenders across the country on Monday through Wednesday of each week. Rates often fluctuate significantly, even within a single day.
Rates on five-year adjustable-rate mortgages averaged 3.49 percent, up from 3.45 percent a week earlier.
Rates on one-year adjustable-rate home loans edged up to 3.25 percent from 3.23 percent last week. The rates do not include add-on fees, known as points. One point is equal to 1 percent of the total loan amount.
The average fee for a 30-year mortgage in Freddie Mac's survey was 0.8 point. It was 0.7 point for 15-year fixed loans and 0.6 point for five-year and one-year mortgages.
The fees were unchanged from last week.