The Mortgage Bankers Association’s Weekly Applications Survey tracks changes in average mortgage rates and mortgage loan application volume. According to the most recent release, mortgage rates increased slightly on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances and on 15-year fixed-rate loans last week. Loans with jumbo balances and those backed by the Federal Housing Administration were unchanged from the previous week. Despite the uptick in average interest rates, demand for loans to buy homes was up from the week before, rising 3 percent. But, due to a 6 percent drop in refinance volume, the Market Composite Index – which measures total mortgage loan application volume – fell 2.6 percent. Several weeks of declining mortgage rates caused refinance activity to pick up recently. However, with interest rates up the past two weeks, refinance demand has fallen and led to consecutive weeks of declining application volume. The MBA’s weekly survey has been conducted since 1990 and covers 75 percent of all retail residential mortgage applications. More here.