Mortgage applications decrease for the fourth straight week

Despite record-low mortgage rates, high unemployment continues to put strains on the housing market. 

Meanwhile, the purchase index increased 2.4 percent, behind a 4.5 percent increase in government purchase applications, and a 0.8 percent increase in  conventional purchase applications.

The four-week moving average for applications, which smoothes the volatile weekly figures, was down 3.3 percent. The purchase index average is up 1.1 percent while the refinancing index is down 4.2 percent. 

The refinance share of mortgage activity increased to 80.7 percent of total applications from 81.1 percent the previous week. 

The loan rate on 30-year-fixed mortgages decreased to 4.38 percent from 4.44 while the 15-year-fixed rate dropped to 3.77 from 3.88 percent.