Mortgage applications fall 2.2 percent on lower refinancing activity

That leaves the refinance share of mortgage activity unchanged at 81 percent of total applications from the previous week. 

The housing market's recovery is picking up pace, with all indicators from builder confidence to existing home sales and new construction showing gains. 

Mortgage rates are hovering around historic lows and are adding another boost to the market's improvement, although tight credit is still constraining more robust lending. 

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with loan balances of $417,500 or less increased to 3.54 percent from 3.52, while the rate for jumbo loans was down to 3.76 percent from 3.83.

The rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages backed by the Federal Housing Administration rose to 3.36 percent from 3.34. 

The rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages was up slightly, to 2.89 percent from 2.88.