You can now read 5 articles in a month for free on BostonGlobe.com. Read as much as you want anywhere and anytime for just 99¢.

Rate on 30-year mortgage falls to 3.88 percent

WASHINGTON - The average rate on the 30-year fixed mortgage dropped near its record low this week, making home-buying and refinancing a bargain for those who 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.

Continue reading below

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.

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

Some 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.

And mortgage rates have been below 4 percent for all but one week since early December, leaving some potential buyers and refinancers unimpressed by new record lows.

Applications for new mortgages have fallen over the past month, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. But there has been a sharp rise in the average mortgage size. The average size of mortgage applications has increased by $20,000 since December, to about $235,000 last month.

To calculate the average rates, Freddie Mac surveys lenders across the country.

Loading comments...
Subscriber Log In

We hope you've enjoyed your 5 free articles'

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Already a subscriber?
Your city. Your stories. Your Globe.
Yours FREE for two weeks.
Enjoy free unlimited access to Globe.com for the next two weeks.
Limited time only - No credit card required!
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.
Thanks & Welcome to Globe.com
You now have unlimited access for the next two weeks.
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.