NEW YORK, May 24 (Reuters) - Interest rates on U.S. 30-year fixed-rate mortgages recorded seven-year highs even as Treasury yields have retreated from multi-year peaks due to worries about U.S.-China trade tension and concerns about Italy and Turkey, Freddie Mac said on Thursday.
The jump in mortgage rates this year may exacerbate the tightness in home inventories as some homeowners may decide not to sell their properties, Freddie Mac's chief economist Sam Khater said.
"Inventory shortages would likely worsen if more homeowners decide not to sell out of reluctance of having a new mortgage with a higher rate,” Khater said in a statement.
Thirty-year mortgage rates averaged 4.66 percent in the week ended May 24, the highest since the week of May 5, 2011. A week earlier, 30-year rates averaged 4.61 percent, the U.S. mortgage finance agency said.
Last Friday, the yield on benchmark 10-year Treasury notes rose to 3.128 percent, the highest since July 2011, according to Reuters data.
Fifteen-year loan rates averaged 4.15 percent, up from 4.08 percent from the prior week.
Interest rates on five-year adjustable rate mortgages averaged 3.87 percent, higher than 3.82 percent the week before.
Reporting by Richard Leong Editing by James Dalgleish