According to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s Weekly Applications Survey, demand for mortgage applications rose 2.1 percent last week from the week before. Refinance activity was up 3 percent and the Purchase Index rose 1 percent. Joel Kan, MBA’s associate vice president of economic and industry forecasting, says demand for loans to buy homes has been increasing lately. “Purchase application have regained an upward trend over the past few weeks,” Kan said. “Activity was slightly higher for the third straight week, but remained lower than the same week a year ago. Government purchase applications drove most of the last week’s increase, which also contributed to a slightly lower overall average purchase loan size.” The improvement came during a week when average mortgage rates were up. In fact, rates were higher across all loan categories, including 30-year fixed-rate loans with both conforming and jumbo balances, FHA loans, and 15-year fixed-rate loans. The MBA’s survey has been conducted weekly and covers 75 percent of all retail residential mortgage applications.