The refinance share of mortgage activity decreased to 81.3 percent of total applications from 82.2 percent the previous week.
In December, 56.6 percent of refinance applications were for fixed-rate 30-year loans, 24.3 percent for 15-year fixed loans and 5.3 percent for adjustable-rate mortgages.
Interest rates continue to remain at or near historic lows, although many homeowners or possible borrowers are constrained by an underwater mortgage or tight lending standards.
The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($417,500 or less) increased to 4.11 percent from 4.06 percent.
For 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with jumbo loan balances (greater than $417,500) rates decreased to 4.39 percent from 4.40 percent.
Rates for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages backed by the Federal Housing Administration increased to 3.97 percent from 3.91 percent.
The average contract interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages increased to 3.40 percent from 3.33 percent.