U.S. mortgage applications fell last week as lower interest rates failed to spur demand for loans to purchase homes, an industry trade group said Wednesday.

The Mortgage Bankers Association said its seasonally adjusted index of mortgage application activity for the week ended Feb. 24 decreased 1.2 percent to 571.5 from the previous week's 578.5.

The MBA's seasonally adjusted purchase mortgage index fell 1.9 percent to 400.8 from the previous week's 408.7. The index was also below its year-ago level of 440.0. The index is considered a timely gauge on U.S. home sales.

Borrowing costs on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages, excluding fees, averaged 6.18 percent, down 0.04 percentage point from the previous week.

The group's seasonally adjusted index of refinancing applications increased 0.1 percent to 1,573.5 compared to 1,571.4 the previous week.

Click here to visit FOXBusiness.com's Real Estate page.