Carrie Rengers

Mortgage rates drop

The average rate on the 30-year fixed mortgage dropped this week, following lower yields on Treasury bonds.

Freddie Mac said Thursday that the average rate on the 30-year loan slipped from 4.95 percent to 4.87 percent. It hit a 40-year low of 4.17 percent in November.

The average rate on the 15-year fixed home loan fell to 4.15 percent from 4.22 percent. It reached 3.57 percent in November, the lowest level on records dating back to 1991.

Mortgage rates tend to track the yield on the 10-year Treasury note. Investors are putting more money into Treasurys, concerned that Libya's uprising will keep oil prices above $100 a barrel and hurt consumer spending. That has lowered those yields.

Low mortgage rates haven't been enough to boost housing. Fewer homebuyers signed contracts to purchase homes in January, the second straight month of waning demand, the National Association of Realtors said Monday.