Mortgage applications rose last week from their depressed levels during the Memorial Day holiday week as rates continued to fall, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported Wednesday.

The MBA's Market Composite Index was up 13%, seasonally adjusted, for the week and up 24.5% on an unadjusted basis. The Refinance Index increased 16.5%; the seasonally adjusted Purchase Index increased 4.5%, with the unadjusted Purchase Index up 14.2% compared with the previous week and up 6.1% from the same week one year ago.

"Mortgage rates have declined for 8 of the past 9 weeks," said Michael Fratantoni, MBA's vp/research and economics. "Coming off of the Memorial Day holiday, refinance application volume increased significantly, as borrowers jumped to lock in the lowest mortgage rates since last November.

Still, he noted, "The volume of refinance applications still remains 28% below levels seen at that time, as borrowers with an incentive to refinance remain constrained from doing so by lack of equity in their homes."

The four week moving average for the seasonally adjusted Market Index was up 2.4%. The four week moving average was up 0.3% for the seasonally adjusted Purchase Index and up 3.1% for the Refinance Index.

The refinance share of mortgage activity increased to 70% from 67.3% the previous week. The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity remained unchanged at 6.1%.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages decreased to 4.51% from 4.54%, with points increasing to 1.05 from 0.94, the lowest 30-year average rate since November 19, 2010. The average rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages remained unchanged at 3.67%; points also remained unchanged at 1.06.