From the Wall Street Journal‘s Steve Kerch this morning: "The benchmark 30-year home mortgage fell below 5% for the first time ever in Freddie Mac‘s weekly rate survey, as economic weakness continued to push interest rates lower. The national average rate on the 30-year loan fell to 4.96% in the week ended Jan. 15, from 5.01% a week ago. It was the 11th consecutive weekly decline and the lowest rate on record. The mortgage agency began its rate survey in 1971. A year ago the loan averaged 5.69%."