Mortgage applications fell for a second week, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported Wednesday.

The MBA's Market Composite Index last week dropped 1.4% on a seasonally adjusted basis from a week earlier; on an unadjusted basis, the Index increased 22.9% compared with the previous week, which included the Labor Day holiday.

The Refinance Index decreased 0.9%, the third straight weekly decrease.

The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index fell 3.3% from the previous week, although the unadjusted Purchase Index increased 18.9% from Labor Day week. The index was 38% lower than the same week last year.

The four week moving average for the seasonally adjusted Market Index was down 2.3%, up 1% for the seasonally adjusted Purchase Index and down 3% percent for the Refinance Index.

The refinance share of mortgage activity increased to 81.1% of total applications from 80.5% the previous week.

The average interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages decreased to 4.44% from 4.47%, with points decreasing to 0.81 from 1.08 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent loan-to-value (LTV) ratio loans. The rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages decreased to 3.88% from 3.96%, with points decreasing to 0.86 from 1.03. The contract 15-year rate is the lowest recorded in the survey, matching the record low rate from the week ending August 27. The average rate for one-year ARMs increased to 6.96% from 6.89%, with points decreasing to 0.21 from 0.23.