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Freddie Mac: 30-year mortgage drops to 3.88%, near record low

April 26, 2012|By E. Scott Reckard
  • A home is in the process of changing hands in Framingham, Mass., at a time of low financing costs. Mortgage rates remain near record lows, Freddie Mac reported.
A home is in the process of changing hands in Framingham, Mass., at a time… (Bill Sikes / Associated…)

Extending a long stay near record lows, fixed mortgage rates edged lower this week, with lenders offering the typical 30-year loan to solid borrowers at 3.88%, down from 3.9% last week, according to giant loan buyer Freddie Mac.

In the 21 weekly surveys that Freddie Mac has released starting Dec. 8, only one has shown the 30-year average above 4%. The record low of 3.87%, statistically no different from this week’s reading, was recorded on three consecutive weeks in February.

This week’s average for the 15-year fixed loan was 3.12%, down from 3.13% a week earlier. Adjustable loans were mixed. The start rate fell on mortgages that adjust once a year but rose on loans that become adjustable after five years at a fixed rate.

Freddie Mac said borrowers would have paid an average of  0.7% of the loan balance in upfront lender fees and discount points to obtain the 30-year loan, and 0.6% for the other types of mortgages. Borrowers who shop around or pay additional discount points to their lender often can find lower rates than those in the Freddie Mac survey.

The survey, released weekly since 1971, asks lenders for popular rate and fee combinations they are offering to borrowers with good credit who make 20% down payments, or have 20% home equity for refinance mortgages.

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