Mortgage rates eased slightly this week, and demand for purchase loans picked up last week to the highest level in months ahead of a scheduled increase in FHA premiums, surveys show.

Freddie Mac’s weekly Primary Mortgage Market Survey showed rates on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages averaging 3.98 percent with an average 0.7 point for the week ending April 5, down from 3.99 percent last week and 4.87 percent a year ago. Rates on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages hit an all-time low in records dating to 1971 of 3.87 percent during the first three weeks of February.

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