U.S. mortgage rates held steady just above 5 percent in the latest week after mixed signals on the health of the housing market, Freddie Mac (FRE.N) said on Thursday.

Average 30-year home loan rates inched up 0.03 percentage point in the week ended Oct. 29 to 5.03 percent.

This fixed borrowing cost has risen from a record low of 4.78 percent set in April, but remains almost 1-1/2 points lower than a year ago, the second largest U.S. home funding source said.

Interest rates for 30-year fixed mortgages have averaged just below 5 percent this year, which is the lowest 10-month average since the survey began in 1971, Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac's chief economist, said in a statement.

As a result, refinance activity has accounted for almost seven out of 10 mortgage applications on average this year, according to Freddie Mac data, he said.