Total mortgage applications declined this week as household activity increased, according to two industry surveys. The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) said its weekly application index measuring the total volume of applications decreased 8.6% from the week prior on a seasonally adjusted basis, accounting for the Labor Day holiday. Unadjusted, the index decreased 18.3% from one week ago and was down 18.7% from the same time last year. The volume of refinance applications decreased 7.4% and the volume of purchase applications decreased 10.3% from the previous week, both on a seasonally adjusted basis. Refinance applications took a 61% share of total applications studied by the MBA, up from 59.8% the week before. The share of adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) also increased from 5.8% to 6% during the same time period. But Mortgage Maxx’s Mortgage Application Index -- or MAX -- increased 9.2% from one week prior on a seasonally adjusted basis that also took the Labor Day holiday into account. The MAX adjusts total application volume to count multiple submissions from a single household as one participant in the application process. Write to Austin Kilgore.