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FHFA: National Average Mortgage Rate Is 354%

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WASHINGTON (4/26/13)--The National Average Contract Mortgage Rate for previously occupied home loans closed in March was 3.54%, the Federal Housing Finance Agency reported Thursday.

The average interest rate on conventional, 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage loans of $417,000 or less increased 12 basis points to 3.74 in March. Those rates are calculated from the FHFA's Monthly Interest Rate Survey of purchase-money mortgages.

The results reflect loans closed during the March 25-31 period. Typically, the interest rate is determined 30 to 45 days before the loan is closed. So, the reported rates depict market conditions prevailing in mid-to-late February, FHFA said.

The contract rate on the composite of all mortgage loans (fixed and adjustable rate) was 3.53%, up 11 basis points from 3.42% in February. The effective interest rate--which reflects the amortization of initial fees and charges--was 3.65%, up 10 basis points from 3.55% in February.

The report contains no data on adjustable-rate mortgages due to insufficient sample size, FHFA said.

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