According to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s Weekly Applications Survey, demand for mortgage loan applications increased 14.2 percent last week. The increase was driven by a 22 percent spike in refinance activity. Mike Fratantoni, MBA’s chief economist, said the surge in refinance demand is largely due to mortgage rates falling to their lowest level since May 2013. In fact, mortgage rates fell again last week, dropping 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 mortgages. Demand for purchase loan applications, on the other hand, slipped 3 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis, though they are up 5 percent from from one year ago. Also, the refinance share of total mortgage activity rose to 74 percent from 71 percent the previous week. That’s the highest it’s been since May 2013. The MBA’s weekly survey has been conducted since 1990 and covers 75 percent of all retail residential mortgage applications. More here.