According to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s Weekly Applications Survey, the average contract interest rate on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages increased slightly last week, though rates remain near record lows. Mortgage rates were up across all loan categories, including 30-year loans with jumbo balances, those backed by the Federal Housing Administration, and 15-year fixed-rate loans. Despite last week’s increase, rates still hover near historic lows and have been trending downward for several weeks. The downward trend is also partly responsible for the recent spike in home sales activity. Still, last week’s increase caused a decline in refinance activity, which fell 5 percent. Purchase activity, on the other hand, was relatively unchanged from the week before. The drop in demand follows a week when mortgage application volume rose to a six-month high. The MBA’s weekly survey has been conducted since 1990 and covers 75 percent of all retail residential mortgage applications. Last week’s results include an adjustment for the Martin Luther King holiday. More here.