According to the latest Applications Survey from the Mortgage Bankers Association, average mortgage rates fell last week from the week before. Rates were down for 30-year fixed-rate loans with both conforming and jumbo balances, loans backed by the Federal Housing Administration, and 15-year fixed-rate loans. Naturally, the decline led to an increase in demand for mortgage loans. In fact, application demand was up 8.1 percent from the week before. Joel Kan, MBA’s associate vice president of economic and industry forecasting, said most of the improvement was due to rising refinance activity. “Borrowers responded to these lower rates, leading to a 14 percent increase in refinance applications,” Kan said. “Although refinance activity slowed in September compared to August, the months together were the strongest since October 2016. The slight changes in rates are still causing large swings in refinance volume, and we expect this sensitivity to persist.” Demand for loans to buy homes also rose and is now 10 percent higher than it was last year at the same time. The MBA’s weekly survey has been conducted since 1990 and covers 75 percent of all retail residential mortgage applications. More here.