The 30-year fixed rate mortgage averaged 5 percent this week, after breaking the 5 percent mark last week for the first time in nearly a year, according to the Freddie Mac weekly mortgage market survey. Last week, the 30-year mortgage rate averaged 5.05 percent.

Fixed mortgage rates eased slightly this week and continue to be very affordable,” says Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac chief economist. “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. ... The housing market is struggling to regain traction despite still historically low rates.”

Here’s how other rates fared for the week:

    * 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.27 percent, down from last week’s 4.29 percent.
* 5-year adjustable-rate mortgage averaged 3.87 percent, down from last week’s 3.92 percent.
* 1-year adjustable-rate mortgage averaged 3.39 percent, up slightly from last week’s 3.35 percent.

Source: “30-Year Fixed-Rate Mortgage Drops to 5 Percent,” Freddie Mac (Feb. 17, 2011)