Purchase applications reached their lowest level since 1995 last week, as the index decreased 4% from the previous week.
Furthermore, the unadjusted purchase index was 15% lower than the same week a year earlier, the report said.
"This is the time of the year we would expect a significant pickup in purchase activity, and we are not yet seeing it," says Mike Fratantoni, the association's chief economist.
Overall, mortgage loan application volume fell 8.5% week over week.
The refinance share of mortgage activity was down to 58% of total applications, which represents the lowest level since September. Mortgage loan refinances fell 11% last week compared with the previous week.
The adjustable-rate mortgage share of activity remained unchanged at 8% of total applications.
The average interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances of $417,000 or less increased to 4.53%, the highest in approximately five weeks, when it was 4.5%.
Interest rates for a 30-year fixed jumbo mortgage were 4.47%, while 30-year mortgages backed by the Federal Housing Administration were 4.17%.