Applications for home mortgages eased last week, although demand for refinancing improved as interest rates edged down, an industry group said on Wednesday.

The Mortgage Bankers Association said its seasonally adjusted index of mortgage application activity, which includes both refinancing and home purchase demand, slipped 0.4 percent in the week ended June 3.

The MBA's seasonally adjusted index of refinancing applications rose 1.3 percent, while the gauge of loan requests for home purchases dropped 4.4 percent.

The refinance share of mortgage activity increased to 67.3 percent of total applications from 65.7 percent the week before, the MBA said.

Fixed 30-year mortgage rates averaged 4.54 percent in the week, down from 4.58 percent the week before.

(Reporting by Leah Schnurr; Editing by Leslie Adler)