Average rates for a 30-year mortgage moved upwards last week, but demand for loans ― refinancing or otherwise ― as well as purchases, continued to increase, providing further confirmation that the housing market is stabilizing.

The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) said interest rates for a 30-year loan moved up 9 basis points from a six-week low to 5.25% in the week ending August 21.

With rates still broadly low, refinances increased to their highest level since early June with a 12.7% gain ― the third advance in the past four weeks, including a 6.9% gain in the prior period. That helped the Market Composite Index ― which tracks the volume of mortgage applications ― to advance 7.6%, a nice touch to the 5.6% gain in the week before.

In addition, the Purchase Index continued to rise for the fourth consecutive week, jumping 1.0% to put the 4-week average at +1.7%. 

“This marks the fourth consecutive weekly gain – the first time this has happened since March, when fixed mortgage rates first dropped and stayed below 5 percent,” the report said.

Mortgage rates vary across the country but the state average is well below 5.5% ― an historically low rate ― in all 50 states. According to a report from Zillow.com published yesterday, lenders in Georgia offer the lowest rates with an average of 5.12%, while rates in Maryland are currently the highest at 5.33%.