Mortgage applications fell last week

Mortgage rates have been at or hovering near historic lows for months, although it hasn't spurred as much activity as the market needs to make a stronger recovery. 

The housing market is improving after years in the doldrums, and many industry experts expect the recovery to pick up pace. 

Democrats are in Charlotte, N.C., this week for their nominating convention, and many in the housing industry are keeping their ears open for more details on how a second Obama administration would help the market in the short and long term. 

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages for loans of $417,500 or less decreased to 3.78 percent from 3.80 percent. On larger loans, the rate was down slightly to 4.05 percent from 4.06 percent.

Thirty-year loans backed by the Federal Housing Administration fell to 3.54 percent from 3.60, while 15-year fixed-rate mortgages fell 3.10 percent from 3.12 percent.