Fixed mortgage rates rose in the week that ended April 3, ending a four-week streak of declines driven by the Federal Reserve Board's efforts to boost the housing market, Freddie Mac said Thursday.

The average rate on a 30-year fixed loan increased 9 basis points from the previous week, to 4.87%.

Mortgage applications rose to the highest level in three months as consumers sought to buy homes and refinance their loans.

The Fed has committed to purchasing mortgage-backed securities to support home lending. The central bank said last month that it would buy up to an additional $750 billion of mortgage-backed bonds to try to lower rates by reducing the supply of outstanding home loan securities. Boosting the price of such securities and lowering their yields would allow banks to reduce the rates on new mortgages and still sell mortgage securities at a profit.

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