According to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s Weekly Applications Survey, refinance application demand slipped 2.0 percent last week but remains near three-year highs. The drop was matched by a 2.0 percent increase in purchase application demand, pushing purchase loan volume to the highest level since June. The Market Composite Index fell 1.2 percent from the previous week. Michael Fratantoni, MBA’s vice president of research and economics, said mortgage rates remain historically low, which benefits both prospective homebuyers and those seeking to refinance. According to the survey, the average contract interest rate on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances increased to 3.56 percent from 3.53 percent the week before. The survey covers 75 percent of all U.S. residential mortgage applications and has been conducted weekly since 1990. More here.