According to The Mortgage Bankers Association’s Weekly Applications Survey, the average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages fell to 4.83 percent last week. But despite rates dropping to their lowest level since November 2009, requests for home purchase loans plummeted 27.1 percent. Michael Frantantoni, MBA’s vice president of research and economics, said purchase applications have declined nearly 20 percent over the past month, adding that the expiration of the tax credit may have pulled sales into April, cutting short the spring buying season. Refinance activity, on the other hand, was at its highest level in nine weeks after a 14.5 percent jump. More here, here, and here.