Mortgage applications slipped 7.1% for the week ending March 15, marking the second straight week of declines, an industry trade group said Wednesday.

The Mortgage Bankers Association reported fewer applications as home purchase and refinancing activity thawed.

The refinance index and the purchase index dropped 8% and 4%, respectively, from the previous week.

The refinance share of mortgage activity declined to 75%, making this 10 consecutive weeks of straight declines and the lowest recorded level since May of 2012. 

The adjustable-rate mortgage share of activity remained steady at 5% of total applications.

Additionally, the average 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage with a conforming loan balance rose to 3.82%. The average 30-year, FRM with a jumbo loan balance surged to 3.95% from 3.90%.

The average contract interest rate for the 30-year, FRM backed by the FHA remained at 3.53%.

Meanwhile, the 15-year, FRM increased to 3.02% from 3.01%, and the 5/1 ARM dropped to 2.59% from 2.62%.  

"Despite rates staying low, mortgage applications fell 7.1% last week. With spring right around the corner, which marks the start of the home buying season, I’d expect to see much improved figures in the coming months," said Bob Walters, Quicken Loans chief economist.