According to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s Weekly Applications Survey, mortgage interest rates moved up last week. Rates increased for 30-year fixed-rate loans with both jumbo and conforming balances, as well as 15-year fixed-rate mortgages. Loans backed by the Federal Housing Administration saw rates flat from the week before. The rate increase contributed to a 3.2 percent drop in the number of Americans requesting applications for loans last week. Another reason for the drop in demand, according to MBA chief economist, Michael Fratantoni, was changes to a proposal that would’ve reduced mortgage insurance premiums on FHA loans. “Following the decision to suspend a proposed decrease in the FHA mortgage insurance premium, FHA refinance applications dropped more than 25 percent, while FHA purchase applications fell almost 6 percent,” Fratantoni told CNBC. Still, even with last week’s decline, the number of applications for loans to buy homes remains higher than it was last year at the same time and Fratantoni continues to believe home sales this year will exceed last year’s levels. The MBA’s weekly survey has been conducted since 1990 and covers 75 percent of all retail residential mortgage applications. More here.