WASHINGTON — Rates on 30-year mortgages rose to the highest level in five weeks but still remained below the 6 percent level.

Freddie Mac, the mortgage company, reported Thursday that 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages averaged 5.72 percent this week, up from 5.67 percent last week.

The 30-year mortgage started the year at 6.07 percent but dropped the next week to below 6 percent and has remained below that threshold for six straight weeks, raising hopes that lower rates will help spur a rebound in the battered housing industry.

Rates on 15-year mortgages, a popular choice for refinancing, edged up to 5.25 percent, compared to 5.15 percent last week.

A year ago, 30-year mortgages stood at 6.30 percent while rates on 15-year mortgages were at 6.03 percent.