Purchase applications for home mortgages rose from the level two weeks ago (a holiday week reading was skipped by the MBA) by a seasonally adjusted 1 percent in the December 29 week, but applications for refinancing fell again during the period and were down 7 percent. Unadjusted, the purchase index ended the year just 3 percent higher than the level in the same week a year ago, somewhat disappointing after spending much of the year closer to plus 10 percent year-on-year. The refinance share of mortgage activity increased by 0.2 percentage points to 52.0 percent from the prior week but was down 1.9 percentage points from the last reported reading two weeks ago. Financing rates were stable during the week, with the average interest rate on 30-year fixed-rate conforming mortgages ($424,100 or less) remaining unchanged from the prior week at 4.25 percent, although this is 9 basis points above the rate of the last MBA report two weeks ago. While most housing market data has shown acceleration going into the year end, today's MBA report for the final two weeks of the year may be showing growth slowed by interest rates.