Mortgage applications decreased 8.5 percent last week compared to the previous week on a seasonally adjusted basis, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association weekly survey.

Most of the decline was in purchases with the seasonally adjusted Purchase Index declining 7.3 percent compared to the previous week. The index was 13.4 percent lower than it was the same week a year ago.

As many East Coast markets were digging out from the blizzard last week, purchase applications fell, another indication that housing demand remains relatively weak, said Michael Fratantoni, MBA's Vice President of Research and Economics. With home prices continuing to drift amid an abundant inventory of homes on the market, potential home buyers do not see any urgency to lock in purchases.

Interest rates also rose slightly:

• 30-year fixed-rate mortgages increased to 5.03 percent from 4.94 percent.
• 15-year fixed-rate mortgages increased to 4.35 percent from 4.33 percent.
• 1-year ARMs increased to 6.80 percent from 6.67 percent.

Source: Mortgage Bankers Association