Mortgage applications for the week ending April 13 rose 6.9 percent from the previous seven days, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported Wednesday.

The increase was, however, caused by a jump in refinance applications, which accounted for 75.2 percent of all mortgage applications, compared with 70.5 percent the previous week. The increase was the result of a drop in interest rates, the lenders' group said.

"While purchase activity declined sharply for the week, this was mostly due to a 23 percent drop in applications for FHA purchase loans," said association chief economist Jay Brinkmann. "This drop follows big increases in the demand for FHA loans over several weeks in anticipation of the FHA mortgage insurance premium increases that went into effect last week."

— Alan J. Heavens