For the first time in six weeks, purchase demand increased last week. According to The Mortgage Bankers Association’s Weekly Applications Survey, the seasonally adjusted Purchase Index jumped 7.3 percent from the week before. Combined with a 21.1 percent increase in the Refinance Index, gains in purchase demand led to a 17.7 percent rise in total mortgage loan application volume. Michael Frantantoni, MBA’s vice president of research and economics, said it’s unclear whether this signals the beginning of a rebound after more than a month of plunging demand. The average contract interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was up slightly from 4.81 percent to 4.82 last week. More here and here.