After last week’s spike, mortgage rates eased with the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage dropping slightly to an average of 5 percent this week, according to Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey, which was released today. Down from last week’s average of 5.05 percent, the rate hovered near levels last year when the average was 4.93 percent.

Freddie Mac’s chief economist, Frank Nothaft, emphasized that rates continue to be very affordable.

“Prior to 2009, interest rates for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages had never been at 5 percent since our survey began in April 1971. In both 1981 and 1982, the rates were over three times as high as they are today.”

Freddie Mac also reported that 15-year fixed-rate mortgages were down. This week the average was 4.27 percent, down from last week when it averaged 4.29 percent. A year ago, the average rate was 4.33 percent.

The results were mixed for adjustable-rate mortgages. The average rate on a five-year ARM was 3.87 percent, down from last week’s average of 3.92 percent. Rates on one-year ARMs were up, however. The average rate rose to 3.39 percent from 3.35 percent last week.