DENVER BUSINESS JOURNAL — U.S. mortgage rates rose last week to their highest level in seven years, according to Freddie Mac.

The 30-year fixed mortgage averaged 4.61 percent for the week ending May 17, up from 4.55 percent the previous week. A year ago, mortgage rates stood at 4.02 percent.

Favorable mortgage rates have helped drive U.S. home sales and the refinance market.

“Healthy consumer spending and higher commodity prices spooked the bond markets and led to higher mortgage rates over the past week,” said Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist. “Not only are buyers facing higher borrowing costs, gas prices are currently at four-year highs just as we enter the important peak home sales season.”

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