The Mortgage Bankers Association’s Weekly Applications Survey looks at the number of Americans who have requested applications for refinance or purchase loans during the past week. It is a good indication of the level of demand for home loans across the country and can also be a predictor of future home sales. According to the most recent results, overall demand for home loans fell last week due, in part, to a drop in refinance activity. Average mortgage rates rose slightly across all loan categories and – because refinance demand tends to be more sensitive to rate fluctuations – activity slipped 5 percent from one week earlier. Refinance volume, however, remains 12 percent higher than one year ago and mortgage rates are still historically low. Purchase application demand dipped last week as well but it is also up from last year’s level. Lynn Fisher, MBA’s vice president of research and economics, told CNBC recent news may not be a fair indication of what’s happening in housing these days. “News about new home sales and single family housing starts fell short of expectations in the last week, however some of March’s housing activity was likely pulled forward into one of the warmest Februarys on record,” Fisher said. “While purchase applications fell slightly last week, the average level for April is the highest since 2010.” The MBA’s weekly survey has been conducted since 1990 and covers 75 percent of all retail residential mortgage applications. More here.