Over the past week, the total number of applications for mortgage lending in the United States decreased by 3.4%, but compared with the same period a year earlier, the figure jumped by 31.6%, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported. At the same time, the number of applications for refinancing decreased by the end of the week by 4%, and over the year their volume increased by 79.5%. The annual rate was the highest since January last year. According to experts, a slight increase in mortgage rates on loans has led to a weakening of the overall refinancing activity. The average contract rate for thirty-year mortgage loans with a fixed rate was 4.14%. A week earlier, it was at the level of 4.12%. The number of applications filed by Americans for the purchase of housing decreased by 4% over the week, but over the year it grew by 4%. The low unemployment rate and the growing demand from Americans who first acquire housing strengthen the activity of buyers.