According to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s Weekly Applications Survey, average mortgage rates increased last week across most loan categories, including 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances, loans backed by the Federal Housing Administration, and 15-year fixed-rate loans. The increase follows a general upward trend driven primarily by economic improvement and a stronger job market. Joel Kan, an MBA economist, told CNBC higher rates are also the result of actions taken by the Federal Reserve. “Treasury rates increased over the week, mainly as communication from Federal Reserve officials pointed to a continued path of rate hikes, based on the strength of the economy and hot job market,” Kan said. “Furthermore, four out of five rates tracked in our survey increased.” The increase hit refinance activity hardest, with demand falling 9 percent from the week before. Purchase activity also fell but remains 2 percent higher than at the same time last year. The MBA’s weekly survey has been conducted since 1990 and covers 75 percent of all retail residential mortgage applications. More here.