Mortgage activity picked up in the July 14 week, with purchase applications for home mortgages rising 1 percent after seasonal and Fourth of July adjustments and refinancing erasing the prior week's decline by rising 13 percent. Unadjusted, purchase applications were up 33 percent from the previous week and were 7 percent higher than in the same week a year ago. The refinancing share of mortgage activity rose 2.6 percentage points to 44.7 percent. After climbing in the previous two weeks, mortgage rates were steady, with the average interest rate on 30-year fixed rate conforming mortgages ($424,000 or less) remaining unchanged at 4.22 percent. The 7 percent year-on-year growth in purchase applications points to strong demand in the housing market, but similar mortgage applications growth was also seen in May, which later turned out to be a slowdown period for housing, according to released government data that included key indicators such as housing starts. Today's release of the housing starts report for June is expected to show a rebound, however.