Mortgage applications drop, while loan rates remain low

High unemployment combined with negative home equity is weighing on a recovery in the housing market.  

The four-week moving average for applications, which smoothes the volatile weekly figures, was down 0.8 percent, while it's up 2 percent for purchase applications and down 1.4 percent for refinancing requests. 

The average rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage declined to 4.47 percent from 4.50 percent the prior week, the group said. 

A 15-year fixed loan fell to 3.96 percent from 4 percent. 

The share of applications for refinancing a loan fell to 80.5 percent from 81.9 percent.