Mortgage rates continue to retreat from a year-end surge, with rates on 30-year fixed-rate loans hitting a four-week low, according to a weekly rate survey conducted by Freddie Mac.

Rates on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 4.71 percent with an average 0.8 point for the week ending Jan. 13, down from 4.77 percent last week and 5.06 percent a year ago. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage hit a record low of 4.17 percent during the week ending Nov. 11, then surged to an average of 4.86 percent in the final week of 2010.

For 15-year fixed-rate loans, rates averaged 4.08 percent with an average 0.7 point, down from 4.13 percent last week and 4.45 percent a year ago. The 15-year fixed-rate loan hit a low in records dating back to 1991 of 3.57 percent in November.

The five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) rate averaged 3.72 percent with an average 0.7 point, down from 3.75 percent last week and 4.32 percent a year ago. The 5-year ARM hit an all-time low in records dating to 2005 of 3.25 percent in November.

The Mortgage Bankers Association projects rates on 30-year fixed-rate loans will rise to an average of 5.5 percent during the fourth quarter of this year.

An MBA survey showed demand for purchase loans was down a seasonally adjusted 3.7 percent during the week ending Jan. 7 in comparison to the week before. Demand for purchase loans was down 10.5 percent from the same week a year ago, the MBA said.

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