WASHINGTON (1/31/14)--The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) reported that interest rates for both adjustable- and fixed-rate mortgage loans crept up slightly in December.
The National Average Contract Mortgage Rate for the Purchase of Previously Occupied Homes by Combined Lenders, used as an index in some adjustable-rate mortgage contracts, was 4.25%, based on loans closed in December--an increase of 0.03 points from November.
The average interest rate on conventional, 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage loans of $417,000 or less increased six basis points to 4.54% in December. The rates are calculated from the FHFA's Monthly Interest Rate Survey of purchase-money mortgages. Interest rates are typically locked in 30-45 days before a loan is closed. Consequently, December data reflect market rates from mid-to-late November.
The effective interest rate was 4.40%, up two basis points from 4.38% in November. The effective interest rate accounts for the addition of initial fees and charges over the life of the mortgage.
The average loan amount for all loans was $277,600 in December--up $12,700 from $264,900 in November.