As interest rates fall, applications for new mortgages have gone up substantially. Applications went up 8.3 percent during the week ending January 18 from the previous week, as reported by the Mortgage Bankers Association. Refinances led this increase substantially; 66 percent of the applications were for refinances. The average interest rate for a traditional, 30 year fixed rate is at 5.49 percent, down from 5.62 percent. The average fixed rate for 15 year fixed rate mortgages, which are often used to refinance a home fell to 4.06 percent from 5.07 percent.