Sharply higher financing rates did not hold back home buyers or refinancing homeowners much in the March 10 week, as purchase applications for home mortgages rose a seasonally adjusted 2 percent while applications for refinancing increased by 4 percent. Unadjusted, the purchase index rose 3 percent from the previous week and was up 6 percent from the year ago level. The refinance share of mortgage activity rose 0.2 percentage points to 45.6 percent, continuing the prior week's feeble rebound from the lowest level since November 2008. The strength of mortgage activity on both the homebuyer and home refinancer front despite a week of sharply higher rates shows inherent strength and offers hope for housing within the current unfriendly interest rate environment. The average interest rate on 30-year conforming mortgages ($424,000 or less) rose 10 basis points in the week to 4.46 percent, the highest level since April 2014.