According to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s Weekly Applications Survey, demand for mortgage applications increased 2.8 percent last week from the week before. The increase marked the second straight week of improvement and was driven by gains in both refinance and purchase activity. The Refinance Index was up 3 percent from the previous week and – as a share of total mortgage activity – refinance demand reached its highest level since March. The Purchase Index, which is a future indicator of home sales, was also up, increasing 3 percent from the week before. The gains came during a week when mortgage rates were mixed. Rates fell for 30-year fixed-rate loans with conforming loan balances and for mortgages backed by the Federal Housing Administration. On the other hand, mortgage rates rose for 30-year loans with jumbo balances and also for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages. The MBA’s weekly applications survey has been conducted since 1990 and covers 75 percent of all retail residential mortgage applications.