According to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s Weekly Applications Survey, demand for loans to buy homes saw its second-consecutive weekly increase, rising 2 percent from the week before. The improvement came during a week when average mortgage rates increased for 30-year fixed-rate loans with conforming loan balances, loans backed by the Federal Housing Administration, and 15-year fixed-rate loans. Joel Kan, MBA’s associate vice president of economic and industry forecasting, says the gains are a sign that buying activity will likely remain strong in the weeks ahead. “Purchase applications increased for both conventional and government loan segments, as housing demand continues to show resiliency at a time – late fall – when home buying activity typically slows,” Kan said. “The second straight increase in purchase applications suggests that stronger sales activity may continue in the weeks to come.” The MBA’s weekly survey has been conducted since 1990 and covers 75 percent of all retail residential mortgage applications.