According to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s Weekly Applications Survey, average mortgage rates increased last week from the week before. The increase brought rates to their highest level since June and caused a slight dip in overall demand for mortgage loans. Refinance activity – which is generally more sensitive to rate fluctuations – fell 2 percent, while demand for loans to buy homes was down less than 1 percent from the week before. Michael Fratantoni, MBA’s chief economist, told CNBC there are several factors that point to more rate increases in the near future. “Globally, rates have begun to creep upwards as investors anticipate less aggressive monetary policies from central banks, and U.S. rates are being pushed upwards in response,” Fratantoni said. “Additionally, new data show continued positive signals regarding the job market and rising inflation, indicating the Fed is likely to hike in December and will continue increasing rates next year.” But, though rate increases are expected in the coming months, they are also expected to be gradual – likely keeping rates low by historical standards, at least in the near term. The MBA’s weekly survey has been conducted since 1990 and covers 75 percent of all retail residential mortgage applications. More here.