Demand for mortgage applications rose last week as mortgage rates continued to trend downward. In fact, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s Weekly Applications Survey, mortgage rates fell across all loan categories, including 30-year fixed-rate loans with both conforming and jumbo balances, mortgages backed by the Federal Housing Administration, and 15-year fixed-rate loans. The drop in rates led to a spike in refinance activity, which drove the Market Composite Index – which measures both refinance and purchase demand – up 1.4 percent from the previous week. Mike Fratantoni, MBA’s chief economist, said interest rates dropped further as a result of international concerns, which in turn pushed mortgage rates lower. According to Fratantoni, overall application volume for conventional mortgages increased but demand for government mortgages, including Department of Veterans Affairs, FHA, and Rural Housing Service applications declined sharply. The MBA’s weekly survey has been conducted since 1990 and covers 75 percent of all retail residential mortgages. More here.