Purchase applications for home mortgages rose by a seasonally adjusted 2 percent in the November 24 week, while applications for refinancing declined sharply again, falling 8 percent from the previous week to their lowest level since January. Without seasonal and Thanksgiving holiday adjustments, the purchase index fell 32 percent from the prior week, but its year-on-year gain nevertheless increased by 2.0 percentage points to 6 percent. The refinancing share of mortgage activity fell 1.2 percentage points to 48.7 percent. Mortgage rates were steady, with the average interest rate on conforming 30-year fixed-rate mortgages ($424,100 or less) remaining unchanged from the prior week at 4.20 percent. The fourth consecutive weekly gain in purchase applications shows home-buyers quite active and adds to evidence of growing strength in the housing market during the fourth quarter.