RATES RISE: Average rates on U.S. fixed mortgages rose this week, the first increase in seven weeks, according to a survey by mortgage buyer Freddie Mac.
THE NUMBERS: The average rate on the 30-year mortgage increased to 3.71 percent. That's up from 3.67 percent last week, the lowest since long-term mortgages began in the 1950s. The average rate on the 15-year mortgage rose to 2.98 percent. That's up from 2.94 percent last week, also a record low.
OUTLOOK: Mortgage rates remain near historic lows, boosting prospects for home sales this year. They have made home-buying and refinancing more attractive to those who can qualify.