The Mortgage Bankers Association said Wednesday that overall applications fell 4.4 percent from a week earlier. Applications to refinance home loans dropped 5.9 percent. Those taken out to purchase homes rose 2 percent. The numbers are seasonally adjusted.
Mortgage rates have been at or near record lows since mid-April. Concerns about European debt problems have prompted investors to buy U.S. Treasury bonds. That has lowered the yield on Treasurys. Mortgage rates tend to track that yield.
The average rate for a 30-year fixed loan rose to 4.69 percent last week from 4.59 percent a week earlier, according to the trade group's report. The rate for a 15-year fixed loan rose to 4.12 percent from 4.05 percent a week earlier.
Refinance applications made up 78 percent of total applications, down from 79.4 percent a week earlier.
The Mortgage Bankers Association's survey covers more than 50 percent of all applications nationwide.