It is still snowing in the Northeast on Wednesday, but warmer weather in recent weeks may have had more potential home buyers out on the prowl.
Mortgage applications to purchase a home rose 3 percent last week from the previous week on a seasonally adjusted basis, according to a weekly survey from the Mortgage Bankers Association. This was driven mainly by an increase in conventional (Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac) applications, as demand for mortgages backed by the Federal Housing Administration, the government insurer of home loans, were flat week-to-week. FHA loans require much lower down payments than conventional loans, just 3.5 percent minimum.
(Read more: Housing's mixed signals: Bubble or not?)