According to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s Weekly Applications Survey, average mortgage rates for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with both conforming and jumbo balances, as well as loans backed by the Federal Housing Administration, fell last week from the week before. Rates are now at their lowest level since spring. The drop in rates – along with the continuing volatility caused by newly implemented industry regulations – caused a spike in mortgage application demand. In fact, the seasonally adjusted purchase index increased 16 percent from one week earlier and refinance activity was up 9 percent. “On an adjusted basis, application volume increased last week, led by a sharp rebound in government volume,” Mike Fratantoni, MBA’s chief economist, said. “We expect that application volume will remain volatile over the next few weeks as the industry continues to implement TILA-RESPA integrated disclosures.” The spike in purchase applications – which are a good indicator of future home sales – puts purchase demand 9 percent higher than the same week one year ago. The MBA’s weekly survey has been conducted since 1990 and covers 75 percent of all retail residential mortgage applications. More here.