According to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s Weekly Applications Survey, mortgage rates were on the move last week. In fact, though most loan types ended up slightly higher than the week before, rates had been falling for most of the week before a last minute surge. By the end of the week, mortgage rates were unchanged from the previous week for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances but rose for loans with jumbo balances, those backed by the Federal Housing Administration, and 15-year fixed-rate loans. “Interest rates dropped through the middle of last week, then jumped up on Friday,” Mike Fratantoni, MBA’s chief economist, told CNBC. “However, the drop in the middle of the week did spur a small pickup in refinance activity.” In fact, the Refinance Index increased 4 percent from the week before. The Purchase Index, on the other hand, slipped from the previous week, though it remains 17 percent higher than the same week one year ago. Purchase application demand is considered a forward-looking indicator of existing-home sales, as it is a good indication of how many Americans have begun the home buying process. The MBA’s weekly survey has been conducted since 1990 and covers 75 percent of all retail residential mortgage applications. More here.