Purchase applications for home mortgages fell a seasonally adjusted 5.0 percent in the January 13 week, while applications for refinancing rose 7 percent. Unadjusted, the purchase index increased 25 percent compared to the previous week, however, taking the year-on-year comparison up 17 percentage points from the prior week to minus 1 percent, a strong recovery but still sharply below the 10-percent plus readings seen in October. The refinancing share of mortgage activity rose to 53.0 percent from 51.2 percent in the previous week. Another downtick in interest rates provided a boost to mortgage activity, though apparently more for refinancing homeowners than home buyers, who are still faced with the lesser affordability of homes financed at rates that are about 70 basis points higher than they were at the end of September. The average interest rate on 30-year fixed rate conforming mortgages ($424,000 or less) fell 5 basis points to 4.27 percent, the lowest level since December.