According to The Mortgage Bankers Association’s Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey, the average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages fell from 5.17 percent to 5.04 percent last week. Total loan application volume was up 13.6 percent from the week before, with the Refinance Index up 15.8 percent and the Purchase Index increasing 10.1 percent. Michael Fratantoni, MBA’s vice president of research and economics, said purchase applications continue to rise as the expiration of the home-buyer tax credit approaches. More here and here.