According to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s Weekly Applications Survey, average mortgage rates were up last week from one week earlier. The increase is a continuation of a recent trend upward that has been propelled by improved economic conditions. As the economy has grown stronger, interest rates have grown along with it. Joel Kan, MBA’s associate vice president of economic and industry forecasts, told CNBC last week’s increase was due, in part, to newly released employment numbers. “Rates increased slightly last week, as various job market indicators showed a bounce back in job gains and an acceleration in wage growth in October,” Kan said. Naturally, increasing rates have had an effect on mortgage demand and last week was no different. The number of requests for loans to buy homes fell 5 percent from the week before. But despite the drop, purchase application demand remains virtually unchanged from where it was at the same time last year, when rates were lower. This is an indication that there is still a high level of demand from home buyers. The MBA’s weekly survey has been conducted since 1990 and covers 75 percent of all retail residential mortgage applications. More here.