Applications for mortgages for home purchases rose again last week as those for refinancings of existing loans fell.

The Mortgage Bankers Assn. reported Wednesday that its Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, decreased 5% last week on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier. On an unadjusted basis, the Index decreased 5.3%. The drop was led by a 6.4% decline in the Refinance Index, its third consecutive weekly decline.

The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index increased 1.4% from the previous week; the unadjusted Purchase Index increased 0.2% and was 28% lower than the same week one year ago.

The four-week moving average for the seasonally adjusted Market Index was up 0.1%. The four-week moving average was down 2.7% for the seasonally adjusted Purchase Index and up 0.8% for the Refinance Index.

The refinance share of mortgage activity decreased to 81.3% of total applications from 82.3% the previous week. The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity increased to 5.4% from 5.3% of total applications from the previous week.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages increased to 4.28% from 4.25%, with points increasing to 1.07 from 1.00 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent loan-to-value (LTV) ratio loans. Rates on 15-year fixed-rate mortgages decreased to 3.64% from 3.67%, with points increasing to 1.08 from 0.96.