WASHINGTON — The average rate on the 30-year fixed mortgage hovered above its record low for a fifth straight week. Despite the great opportunity, few have the means or stomach to buy or refinance in the depressed housing market.

Freddie Mac says the rate on the 30-year home loan rose slightly to 4 percent from 3.98 percent the week before. Eight weeks ago, it dropped to a record low of 3.94, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research.

The average rate on the 15-year fixed mortgage was unchanged at 3.30 percent. Eight weeks ago, it too hit a record low of 3.26 percent.

Rates have been below 5 percent for all but two weeks this year. Yet this year could be the worst for home sales in 14 years.