According to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s Weekly Applications Survey, average mortgage rates for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances fell to another all-time survey low last week. Rates also declined for jumbo loans, loans backed by the Federal Housing Administration, and 15-year fixed-rate loans. The drop led to an 8 percent increase in mortgage application demand over one week earlier. Both purchase activity and refinance activity were up week-over-week. Joel Kan, MBA’s associate vice president of economic and industry forecasting, says pent-up demand and low mortgage rates are fueling the gains. “Purchase applications increased to the highest level in over 11 years and for the ninth consecutive week. The housing market continues to experience the release of unrealized pent-up demand from earlier this spring, as well as a gradual improvement in consumer confidence,” Kan said. “Mortgage rates dropped to another record low in MBA’s survey, leading to a 10 percent surge in refinance applications.” Refinance demand is now 106 percent higher than it was last year at this time. The MBA’s weekly survey has been conducted since 1990 and covers 75 percent of all retail residential mortgage applications.