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FHFA: Mortgage interest rates dip in March
WASHINGTON (4/30/14)--Mortgage interest rates pulled back slightly in March, according to numbers released this week by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA).

The FHFA index tracking the national average contract mortgage rate for the purchase of previously occupied homes fell to 4.22% for all loans closed in March, which is a 0.08% decline from February.

Contract rates for the composite of all mortgage loans stood unchanged from February.

Because interest rates are locked in more than a month before the loan is closed, the data more accurately reflects the interest rate climate from February. The FHFA calculates the index with data pulled from its monthly interest rate survey.

The effective interest rate, which encompasses initial fees and charges over the life of a mortgage, dropped by 1 basis point to 4.38% in February.

However, for 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages of $417,000 or less, the interest rate climbed to 4.51%, a 6-basis point jump. The overall average loan amount, meanwhile, rose by $2,800, up to $278,500 in March.

April index values will be released by the FHFA on May 29.

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