Mortgage application volume decreased from the previous week as refinances fell but purchase activity rose slightly.

The Mortgage Bankers Association's weekly index showed that loan applications were down 2.2% for the period ending July 25, after increasing a week earlier.

The decline occurred because of a 4% drop in refinances, according to the Washington-based trade group. However, the purchase index rose 0.2% from the previous week as home prices begin to stabilize and the interest rate environment remains low.

The average interest rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage remained unchanged at 4.33%. A 30-year mortgage rate backed by the Federal Housing Administration also held steady at 4.03%. Borrowers looking for a 15-year mortgage saw average rates of 3.47%, the same as the week before.

Refinances accounted for 53% of total applications, the MBA said on Wednesday, while adjustable-rate mortgages represented 8% of the loan volume.

The MBA's weekly survey covers over 75% of all U.S. retail residential mortgage applications.

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