Mortgage applications were up slightly from the previous week, the Mortgage Bankers Association said Wednesday.

Contributing to the 0.1 percent increase was a 2.9 percent rise in mortgages for home purchases, while the refinance application figure fell 0.7 percent from the week before.

Still, the refinance share of mortgage activity, while down to 72.6 percent of total applications from 73.4 percent the previous week, predominates.

Average 30-year rates were 3.97 percent for the week, according HSH.com, a publisher of mortgage and consumer loan information. HSH vice president Keith Gumbinger said, "The economy seems to have moved to a slower-growth pattern as we entered the second quarter of 2012, and mortgage rates are finding a little space to fall."

— Alan J. Heavens