Purchase applications for home mortgages rose a seasonally adjusted 6.0 percent in the January 6 week, while applications for refinancing increased 4.0 percent. Unadjusted, the purchase index rose 45 percent from the previous week, but was down a sharp 18 percent year-on-year. As in the previous week, mortgage rates fell back slightly, with the average interest rate on 30-year fixed rate conforming mortgages ($417,000 or less) edging down 7 basis points to 4.32 percent. The modest retreat in interest rates in the last two weeks has brought back some life to mortgage activity, but prospective home buyers and refinacing homeowners are still adjusting to rates that are 70 basis points higher than they were at the end of September. And despite the weekly increase in purchase applications, the year-on-year decline points to weakness in future home sales.