I don’t know if the lower rate compensates for the loss of the $8,000 home buyer tax credit but it certainly lowers the cost of owning a home.

The average rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage dropped to 4.69 percent this week from 4.75 percent last week, Freddie Mac reported Thursday. That marks the lowest level since the company started tracking the data in 1971 and breaks the most recent low set in December. Rates have hovered below 5 percent since early May.

Yet home sales are tumbling and mortgage applications are slipping. Potential buyers have retrenched, discouraged by employment fears, the recent expiration of a home buyer’s tax credit and tough lending standards, industry experts said.

It sure sounds like there isn’t a lot of pend up demand for homes right now if lower rates don’t increase home sales.