Inflation concerns nudge mortgage rates up

Demand for purchase loans off 15% from a year ago

Signs of inflation and ongoing concerns about turmoil in Libya and the Middle East helped bump mortgage rates up this week, Freddie Mac said in releasing the results of its latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey.

Rates on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 4.81 percent with an average 0.7 point for the week ending March 24, up from 4.76 percent last week but down from 4.99 percent a year ago. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage hit an all-time low, in Freddie Mac records dating to 1971, of 4.17 percent during the week ending Nov. 11.