According to the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation, or Freddie Mac, mortgage rates continue to remain the lowest on record since 1971 although rates ticked up by .1 percent this past week.

Rates for 30-year fixed rate mortgages moved up to 3.32 percent from 3.31 percent. Rates for 15-year fixed loans moved up to 2.64 percent from 2.63 percent.

So far this year, the average rate for 30-year fixed mortgages hasn’t risen above 4 percent. An attempt by the Federal Reserve in September to encourage and motivate consumers by purchasing mortgage bonds is cited as part of the reason for the low rates.

With housing at affordable rates, the National Association of Realtor reports that the highest increase in signed contracts in six years occurred in October right after the Federal Reserve’s action.

Although many people don’t have enough money for a down payment, or qualify for mortgages, federal and other sources believe that low rates and improved consumer confidence are helping the economy to pick up.