According to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s Weekly Applications Survey, total mortgage application volume picked up 4.8 percent last week from the week before. The jump in demand was fueled by a 7.2 percent surge in the Purchase Index and a 4.0 percent spike in refinance activity, which had been down in previous weeks. Michael Fratantoni, MBA’s vice president of research and economics, said applications to buy a home are more than 2.0 percent above the level at this time last year and purchase applications for conventional loans are now nearly 10 percent above last year’s levels. Refinance activity accounted for 71.2 percent of all mortgage activity. The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages was 4.16 percent, down from 4.23 percent the previous week. More here and here.