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Washington, D.C. – National data shows interest rates on mortgages declined slightly in March. According to the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), the National Average Contract Mortgage Rate for the Purchase of Previously Occupied Homes by Combined Lenders index was 4.22 percent for loans closed in late March. This rate declined 0.08 percent from February to March, according to an index of new mortgage contracts. The index is calculated using FHFA’s Monthly Interest Rate Survey.
The contract rate on the composite of all mortgage loans was 4.22 percent, unchanged from February.
Interest rates are typically locked in 30-45 days before a loan is closed. Consequently, March data reflects market rates from mid-to-late February. The effective interest rate was 4.37 percent, down 1 basis point from 4.38 percent in February. The effective interest rate accounts for the addition of initial fees and charges over the life of the mortgage.
FHFA’s interest rate survey shows the average interest rate on conventional, 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages of $417,000 or less was 4.51 in March, an increase of 6 basis points. The average loan amount for all loans was $278,500 in March up $2,800 from $275,700 in February.
FHFA will release April index values Thursday, May 29th, 2014.
For more information, call David Roderer at (202) 649-3206. You can hear recorded index information by calling (202) 649-3993. You can find the complete contract rate series at
Technical note: The data are based on a small monthly survey of mortgage lenders, which may not be representative. The sample is not a statistical sample but is rather a convenience sample. Survey respondents were asked to report terms and conditions of all conventional, single-family, fully amortized purchase-money loans closed during the last five working days of the month. The data did not include mortgages either guaranteed or insured by either the Federal Housing Administration or the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Data also excluded refinancing loans and balloon loans. March 2014 data are based on 5,075 reported loans from 26 lenders, which include savings associations, mortgage companies, commercial banks, and mutual savings banks. The effective interest rate includes the amortization of initial fees and charges over a 10-year period (the historical assumption of the average life of a mortgage loan).
The Federal Housing Finance Agency regulates Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the 12 Federal Home Loan Banks. These government-sponsored enterprises provide more than $5.6 trillion in funding for the U.S. mortgage markets and financial institutions.
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