While mortgage interest rates crept up a bit in the last few weeks from their record lows, they just took another turn downward last week. With the 30 year fixed rate averaging just 4.54%, there's a lot of incentive to refinance, and some incentive to buy. With home prices still either languishing or dropping yet farther, this combination of low rates and low prices should be reflected in more new mortgage activity. Should...The fact is that many mortgage brokers are very busy with refinancing, but there isn't much activity in new mortgages for home purchases. Much of the blame seems to be placed on the current economy and unemployment rates. People are just too nervous about their jobs and income to commit to a home purchase. While some surveys have received 70+% responses that it's a good time to buy, that's only an answer to a question, not a purchase. While low mortgage interest rates and low prices may make it a "good time to buy" for somebody, there are few out there saying that somebody is them.While many areas of the country are showing improvement in the home price slides, there's still a concern about how many homes will be added to foreclosure inventories in the next year or so. If the pace is slowing, perhaps home price declines will stabilize for a while. In some areas, there's actually some appreciation showing up again. Investors are steadily swooping in and buying up properties, sometimes in packages of entire subdivisions or blocks. These purchases are at the very rock bottom of price, but this activity is helping to control foreclosure inventories.