According to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s Weekly Applications Survey, average mortgage rates moved up last week across all loan categories, including 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with both conforming and jumbo balances, loans backed by the Federal Housing Administration, and 15-year fixed-rate loans. It was the second consecutive week mortgage rates rose. The increase caused demand for mortgage applications to fall from the previous week’s level. In fact, the Market Composite Index – which measures both refinance and purchase activity – fell 0.8 percent from the week before, with both the Refinance and Purchase Index registering a 1 percent decline. Despite the drop, however, demand for loans to purchase homes was still 20 percent higher than one year earlier. That improvement points to a significant increase in home sales over last year. Since mortgage application demand is an important indicator of future housing demand, any increase in the number of purchase loans indicates sales will also rise. The MBA’s weekly survey has been conducted since 1990 and covers 75 percent of all retail residential mortgage applications. More here.