Mortgage rates hit record low. Will buyers finally take the plunge?

couple trying to get a home loan
couple trying to get a home loan

Rates for 30-year mortgages broke another record for the week ending today, dropping to an average 4.27% from 4.32% a week ago, according to Freddie Mac. That marks the lowest rate since 1971, when the mortgage-finance giant started tracking such data. The rates sank far below last year's 4.87%.

Similarly, 15-year fixed-rate loans tumbled, to an average 3.72%, down from 3.75% last week.

Does that mean buyers will finally head back to the housing market? Probably not in a significant way, experts say, mainly because the weak jobs market and fears of a still-shaky economy will continue to keep them on the sidelines. The U.S. jobless rate currently is at 9.6%. And qualifying for a loan -- even if your ducks are lined up -- still is a challenge.

So far, low rates have barely spurred buyers.