The U.S. home loan demand rose sharply in the week ended Jan. 28, even as the mortgage rates continues to rise from their lowest levels, the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) said on Wednesday.

The total loan applications index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, rose 11.3 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from a week earlier.

Also, the refinancing loans index increased 11.7 percent from the previous week, while the purchasing index rose 9.5 percent.

However, the purchasing index was 21.4 percent lower compared with the same week a year earlier.

Looking over the past two weeks, purchase applications are flat, and refinance applications are down about five percent,” said Michael Fratantoni, vice president, research and economics, MBA.

The refinance share of mortgage activity decreased to 69.3 percent of total applications from 70.3 percent in the previous week, the lowest level since the week ending May 14, 2010.

While the average contract interest rates for 30-year fixed rate mortgage increased to 4.81 percent from 4.80 percent in the previous week, 15-year fixed-rate mortgages increased to 4.13 percent from 4.12 percent.