According to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s Weekly Applications Survey, mortgage rates for 30-year fixed-rate loans with conforming and jumbo balances were both unchanged last week from the previous week, while rates for loans backed by the Federal Housing Administration and for15-year fixed-rate mortgages increased slightly. Lynn Fisher, MBA’s vice president of research and economics, told CNBC that lower mortgage rates have led to refinance activity picking up recently. “As rates declined over the past few weeks, refinance activity picked up in terms of share and volume in the most recent week’s data,” Fisher said. “The refi share, at 53 percent, was the highest refi share since April and the refi index increased 3.1 percent to reach its highest level since May.” But, though refinance demand increased, purchase demand fell, dropping 3 percent from one week earlier. Still, purchase application demand – which is an important indicator of future home sales – is now 20 percent higher than the same week one year ago. The MBA’s weekly survey has been conducted since 1990 and covers 75 percent of all retail residential mortgage applications. More here.