WASHINGTON (12/21/09)--Freddie Mac this week reported an average 30-year mortgage rate of 4.94%, slightly up from the 4.81% average recorded last week. Thirty-year mortgages averaged 5.19% during the same week of 2008. Fifteen year fixed rates averaged 4.38% during the week ended Dec. 17, a .06% increase from the 4.32% rate reported last week and a .54% decrease from the 4.92% rate reported during the same week of 2008. “Interest rates on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages have remained below 5% over the past seven weeks and are contributing to a wave of refinance activity,” and “mortgage rates followed bond yields higher once again this week amid signs of an improving economy,” Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist, said. Five-year and one-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages averaged 4.37% and 4.34%, respectively, during the week. Both rates represent slight increases from the numbers reported during the previous week, and significant decreases from the rates reported during the corresponding period of 2008.