Applications for mortgages to purchase homes declined 4.1 percent last week compared with the previous week on a seasonally adjusted basis, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.

On an unadjusted basis, applications for purchase money decreased 5.2 percent compared to the previous week and were down 16.8 percent compared to the same week a year ago.

This was the fourth consecutive week applications have shrunk. Purchase applications are now almost 40 percent below their level four weeks ago, while the refinance share, at 74 percent, is at its highest level since December, said Michael Fratantoni, MBA's Vice president of research and economics.

Mortgage rates continue to be at historic lows:

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgages increased to 4.83 percent from 4.80 percent;
  • 15-year fixed-rate mortgages decreased to 4.24 percent from 4.25 percent;
  • 1-year ARMs increased to 6.96 percent from 6.83 percent.