The number of mortgage applications filed for the week ending Oct. 5 fell 1.2%, the Mortgage Bankers Association said Wednesday morning.

The decline occurred as refinancing activity fell 2% from the previous week. Still, the purchase index rose 2% from a week earlier and increased 12% from year ago levels, suggesting an uptick in homebuyer demand.

"Refinance applications declined somewhat last week although volume is still near three-year highs, and purchase applications increased to the highest level since June, with both conventional and government volumes increasing," said Mike Fratantoni, the MBA's vice president of research and economics. "Rates on 30-year, fixed-rate loans remain historically low, benefiting both prospective homebuyers and those seeking to refinance."

The average interest rate for the 30-year FRM with a conforming loan balance edged up to 3.56% from 3.53% a week earlier.

In addition, the 30-year FRM with a jumbo loan balance fell to 3.74%, the lowest rate in the survey's history and down from 3.82%.

The average contract interest rate for the 30-year FRM backed by the Federal Housing Administration declined to 3.34%, down from 3.37%, establishing another record low.

Meanwhile, the 15-year, FRM declined to 2.88% from 2.90%.