According to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s Weekly Applications Survey, mortgage rates rose again last week with increases seen 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. Though rates remain historically low, the increase caused a decline in refinance activity, which fell 8 percent from the week before. On the other hand, the seasonally adjusted Purchase Index increased 5 percent, the first increase in many weeks. Overall, as the housing market heads into its busiest season, the outlook remains positive due to a number of encouraging signs in the broader economy and housing market, including improvements in consumer confidence and the job market. The MBA’s weekly survey covers 75 percent of all retail residential mortgages and has been conducted since 1990. Last week’s results contain an adjustment for the President’s Day holiday. More here.