Mortgage rates rise in mid-May, but remain near all-time lows

May 17 2013 12:56PM

Homes for sale in Los Angeles could continue to see multiple offers, as mortgage rates have remained near all-time lows despite rising in two consecutive weeks. 

According to Freddie Mac's latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey, both 15- and 30-year fixed-rate mortgages inched up for the second straight time in the week ending May 16, but were still well below averages seen a year ago at this time. 

Fifteen-year loans averaged 2.69 percent, up from 2.61 percent in the previous week, but below the average of 3.04 percent a year ago. Meanwhile, 30-year loans rose from 3.42 percent to 3.51 percent, the report said. 

Freddie Mac's vice president and chief economist Frank Nothaft said rates jumped as a result of higher U.S. Treasury bond yields. 

"Mortgage rates followed U.S. Treasury bond yields higher this week on signs of stronger consumer spending," he said. "Advanced retail sales rose 0.1 percent in April, above the market forecast consensus of a 0.3 percent decline."

Affordable mortgage rates have fueled home sales in Southern California, as they reached the highest level in April since 2006, according to DataQuick. 

Should rates remain affordable, demand for homes in Pasadena could stay elevated for the foreseeable future.