WASHINGTON (11/26/14)--The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) reported this week that national contract mortgage rates for the purchase of previously occupied homes climbed to 4.11% from 4.05% in October.
The average interest rate on all mortgage loans rose to 4.11% as well, up from 4.07% in September, and the average interest rate on conventional 30-year fixed-rate mortgages of $417,000 or less was 4.31%, down from 4.33% the prior month.
The effective interest rate, which incorporates all initial fees and charges over the life of the mortgage, came in at 4.27% for the month, an increase of five basis points from 4.22% in September.
The average loan amount was $285,000 in October--a $4,000 increase from $281,000 month-over-month.
Home prices, meanwhile, climbed 0.9% in the third quarter, according to the FHFA's home price index. The increase marks the 13th straight month that home prices have risen.
Year-over-year, home prices climbed 4.5% in the third quarter. Though, the seasonally adjusted monthly index for September was unchanged from the previous month.
"Easing interest rates and modestly improving labor market conditions helped to drive up prices in the third quarter," said Andrew Leventis, FHFA principal economist. "The price increases were relatively small in most areas, however, and are consistent with the type of market deceleration that other housing market statistics have shown in recent periods."
Meanwhile, existing-home price appreciation slowed in the third quarter, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index, released Tuesday, compared with the third quarter in 2013.
The 10-city index rose 4.8% year-over-year, compared with a 5.5% climb annually in August. The 20-city index showed similar signs of deceleration.
Despite the deceleration, though, each metro area recorded increases in price growth year-over-year, ranging from a 0.8% increase in Cleveland to a 10.3% price gain in Miami.