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Rate on 30-year mortgage falls to 3.88%

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POSTED April 12, 2012 6:20 p.m.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The average rate on the 30-year fixed mortgage dropped near its all-time low this week, making home-buying and refinancing a bargain for those who can qualify.

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday that the rate on the 30-year loan fell to 3.88 percent from 3.98 percent. That's just above the rate of 3.87 percent reached in February, the lowest since long-term mortgages began in the 1950s.

The 15-year mortgage, a popular option for refinancing, plunged to a fresh low of 3.11 percent from 3.21 percent last week. The previous record of 3.13 percent was hit last month.

Mortgage rates are lower because they tend to track the yield on the 10-year Treasury note. Last week's disappointing report on March job growth led more investors to sell stocks and buy Treasurys, which are considered safer investments. As demand for Treasurys increases, the yield falls.

Yet the low rates are unlikely to draw in many more people looking to buy a home or to refinance their mortgage.

Some would-be buyers are still skeptical about purchasing a home with prices still falling. Home appraisals that are higher or lower than the sales price have scuttled a rising number of home contracts. Many Americans are struggling with damaged credit and unstable finances.

 

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