Mortgage rates followed bond yields a little higher last week as positive data suggested the economy is improving. According to the Jan. 27 Primary Mortgage Market Survey from Freddie Mac, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.8 percent, up from the previous week’s average of 4.74 percent. Last year, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.98 percent.

“The index of leading indicators rose 1 percent in December, nearly twice that of the market consensus forecast and represented the sixth consecutive monthly increase, according to the [Conference] Board,” said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist. “Consumer demand in the housing market is also showing some positive gains. Sales of existing homes rose in December to the strongest pace since May and sales of new homes jumped to the highest since April.”

The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.09 percent, up from the previous week when it averaged 4.05 percent. The five-year adjustable-rate mortgage averaged 3.70 percent, up from 3.69 percent. The one-year adjustable-rate mortgage averaged 3.26 percent, up from 3.25 percent.