According to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s Weekly Applications Survey, average mortgage rates fell last week to their lowest level since early May. Rates were down week-over-week across all loan categories, including 30-year fixed-rate loans with both conforming and jumbo balances, loans backed by the Federal Housing Administration, and 15-year fixed-rate loans. The drop led to an increase in demand for mortgage applications, which rose 4.2 percent from the week before. The improvement was driven by a 6 percent jump in refinance activity. Purchase loan demand, on the other hand, rose 2 percent from the week before. Joel Kan, MBA’s associate vice president of economic and industry forecasting, says FHA loans led the gains. “Purchase activity also rebounded, even as supply constraints continue to slow the housing market,” Kan said. “An almost 5 percent increase in government purchase applications drove most of last week’s gain while also tempering the recent growth in loan sizes.” The MBA’s weekly survey has been conducted since 1990 and covers 75 percent of all retail residential mortgage applications.