Purchase applications for home mortgages fell a seasonally adjusted 6.0 percent in the January 27 week, while applications for refinancing fell 1.0 percent. Unadjusted, the purchase index increased 12 percent from the previous week to a level that stands 2 percent higher than a year ago. Though seesawing weekly on a seasonally adjusted basis, purchase applications have been surprisingly strong given the rising mortgage rate environment, posting the highest level since June in the prior week. Refinancing, in contrast, has declined dramatically, reaching the lowest level since July 2015 in the prior week and falling further this week, with the refinance share of mortgage activity down another 0.6 percentage points to 49.4 percent. The average interest rate on 30-year fixed rate conforming mortgages ($424,000 or less) rose 4 basis points in the week to 4.39 percent, the highest level since December.