According to the Mortgage Bankers Association's Weekly Applications Survey, average mortgage rates were mostly flat last week, with little movement seen across all loan categories including 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with both conforming and jumbo balances, loans backed by the Federal Housing Administration, and 15-year fixed-rate loans. The lack of volatility in the mortgage market led to an increase in demand for both refinance and purchase loans. In fact, mortgage demand was up 4.2 percent over the week before. But Joel Kan, an MBA economist, told CNBC that, despite boosted demand last week, overall purchase application volume is still being hampered by “persistent problems of affordability and low inventory.” Still, demand for loans to buy homes is just above where it was last year at this time and buyer demand remains high – though home sales remain strongest on the higher end of the market. The MBA's weekly survey has been conducted since 1990 and covers 75 percent of all retail residential mortgage applications. More here.