The average rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage sank to 4.58 percent this week -- the lowest since mortgage giant Freddie Mac began keeping records in 1971. The last time it was cheaper was the 1950s, when long-term home loans lasted 20 or 25 years. The previous 30-year record was 4.69 percent, set last week.
But consumers aren't rushing to refinance their loans or buy homes. Tighter lending standards and declining home equity have made it difficult for many borrowers to refinance. Many who do qualify have already done so.
The number of buyers who signed contracts to buy homes tumbled 30 percent in May from April, and 16 percent