According to The Mortgage Bankers Association’s Weekly Applications Survey, demand for home purchase loans rose last week. The Purchase Index was up 4.8 percent from the previous week and 11.7 percent higher than the same week a year ago. But due to a drop in the Refinance Index, total loan application volume was down 5.2 percent. The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages increased to 4.69 percent from 4.46 percent the week before. Michael Fratantoni, MBA’s vice president of research and economics, said stronger economic data toward the end of the week and the end of the Federal Reserve’s quantitative easing program brought mortgage rates to their highest level in over a month, though purchase applications picked up appreciably in the week before the holiday. More here.