According to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s Weekly Applications Survey, the Market Composite Index, which measures total mortgage loan application volume, surged 23.1 percent last week from the week before. Refinance activity was up 26.4 percent and reached its highest level since August of last year. The Purchase Index also saw improvements, rising 10.3 percent from the week before. Michael Fratantoni, MBA’s vice president of research and economics, said interest rates dropped due to continued anxiety regarding the economic situation in Europe. The drop in rates led to the spike in refinance activity and brought buyers back to the market following the holiday season, according to Fratantoni. The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances fell to 4.06 percent from 4.11 percent the week before. It was the lowest 30-year rate in the history of the survey. More here.