Home sales contracts jump in March, mortgage rates dip

WASHINGTON – The number of Americans who signed contracts to buy U.S. homes rose in March, the latest sign the battered housing market is slowly improving.

And a separate report Thursday said the average rate on 30-year fixed mortgages has dipped to near its record low, keeping home-buying and refinancing affordable.Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac says the rate on 30-year loans averaged 3.88% this week, down from 3.9% last week. In February, the rate hit 3.87%, lowest since long-term mortgages began in the 1950s.


The 30-year loan is the most common financing option for home buyers.


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