The highest interest rates in ten months did not discourage home buyers and refinancing homeowners in the January 12 week, with purchase applications for home mortgages rising by a seasonally adjusted 3 percent from the prior week and applications for refinancing by 4 percent. Unadjusted, the purchase index rose 35 percent from the previous week and was 7 percent higher than the same week a year ago. The refinance share of mortgage activity fell by 0.7 percentage points to 52.9 percent. Rates rose sharply, with the average interest rate on 30-year fixed-rate conforming mortgages ($453,100 or less) up 10 basis points to 4.33 percent, the highest level since March 2017. Despite the headwind of higher mortgage rates, purchase applications are back up to a strong 7 percent year-on-year gain pace, confirming the continuation of the robust housing market strength seen in the last quarter.