Refinancing dropped off 2.5 percent, the fifth consecutive weekly decrease, as the housing market tries to regain its footing.
Despite record-low mortgage rates, high unemployment continues to put strains on the housing market.
The four-week moving average for applications, which smoothes the volatile weekly figures, was down 3 percent. The purchase index average is up 2 percent while the refinancing index is down 4.2 percent.
The refinance share of mortgage activity decreased to 78.9 percent of total applications from 80.7 percent the previous week.
The loan rate on 30-year-fixed mortgages decreased to 4.25 percent from 4.38 while the 15-year-fixed rate dropped to 3.73 from 3.77 percent.