Following two weeks of declines, fixed mortgage rates edged higher to end July, but still remained low enough to potentially boost home sales in the Houston real estate market.?The average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was up to 4.39 percent in the week ending August 1, while 15-year FRMs hit 3.43 percent, according to Freddie Mac's latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey.?”With mortgage rates still relatively low, the housing recovery continues to support the overall economy,” said Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist at Freddie Mac. “May's S&P/Case Shiller?20-city composite index was up 12.2 percent from last May and represented the largest annual increase since March 2006. In addition, pending home sales in June hovered near a six-and-a-half year high.”Houston already has a strong housing market, and affordable borrowing costs could help it improve further. June was a good month for sales in the Texas city, rising 13.4 percent year-over-year, the Houston Association of Realtors noted.?HAR chairman Danny Frank said inventory is on the rise, which could help push sales levels even higher.?Real Estate News brought to you by 2M Realty, a true expert in the online real estate market.