According to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s Weekly Applications Survey, average mortgage rates increased last week 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 loans. The increase brought rates to their highest level in a month. Joel Kan, an MBA economist, said rates were reacting to news from the Fed. “Mortgage rates increased to their highest levels in almost a month following a relatively hawkish Fed statement last week, driving the decline in refinance activity,” Kan told CNBC. And, it’s true that higher rates did slow refinance demand. In fact, it was 4 percent lower than the previous week. At the same time, however, demand for loans to buy homes was up 3 percent, showing that there is still strong demand from prospective home buyers looking to buy a house this fall. The MBA’s weekly survey has been conducted since 1990 and covers 75 percent of all retail residential mortgage applications. More here.