The 30-year fixed hit 5.31 percent last week, the highest level since the first week of last August, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. In response, mortgage applications fell 11 percent, driven entirely by a nearly 17 percent drop in refis. Purchase applications were basically flat, up just 0.2 percent (all seasonally adjusted). We called it right?? Rates rise when the Fed stops buying Fannie and Freddie MBS March 31st. Wrong. "Believe it or not, it had little or nothing to do with the end of the Fed MBS program," says's Greg McBride. "Upbeat economic news — a return of job growth, continued improvement in both the manufacturing and service sectors — pushed bond yields higher, taking mortgage rates along for the ride."