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FHFA Reports Mortgage Interest Rates, January 2013


Washington, D.C. – The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) today reported that 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 (ARM) contracts, was 3.35 percent based on loans closed in January. There was an increase of 0.06 from the previous month. The complete contract rate series can be found at www.fhfa.gov/DataTools/Downloads/Pages/Monthly-Interest-Rate-Data.aspx.

National Average Contract Mortgage Rate Graph: November 2011 - November 2012 

Source: FHFA

The average interest rate on conventional, 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage loans of $417,000 or less increased 6 basis points to 3.53 in January. These rates are calculated from the FHFA’s Monthly Interest Rate Survey of purchase-money mortgages (see technical note). These results reflect loans closed during the January 25–31 period. Typically, the interest rate is determined 30 to 45 days before the loan is closed. Thus, the reported rates depict market conditions prevailing in mid- to late-December.

The contract rate on the composite of all mortgage loans (fixed- and adjustable-rate) was 3.34 percent in January, up 6 basis points from 3.28 percent in December. The effective interest rate, which reflects the amortization of initial fees and charges, was 3.46 percent in January, up 4 basis points from 3.42 percent in December.

This report contains no data on adjustable-rate mortgages due to insufficient sample size.

Initial fees and charges were 0.95 percent of the loan balance in January, down 20 basis points from December. Twenty-six percent of the purchase-money mortgage loans originated in January were "no-point" mortgages, up from 11 percent from the share in December. The average term was 27.1 years in January, down 0.3 years from December. The average loan-to-price ratio in January was 76.4 percent, up 0.1 percent from 76.3 percent in December. The average loan amount was $254,700 in January down $19,400 from $274,100 in December.

Recorded information on this index is available by calling (202) 649-3993. For technical questions on this index, please call David Roderer at (202) 649-3206. The February index value will be announced on March 28, 2013.

Technical note: The data are based on a small monthly survey of mortgage lenders which may not be representative. Survey respondents are asked to report the terms and conditions on all conventional, single-family, fully amortized, purchase-money loans closed during the last five working days of the month. The sample is not a statistical sample but is rather a convenience sample. The data exclude FHA-insured and VA-guaranteed mortgages, refinancing loans, and balloon loans. This month’s data are based on 4,729 reported loans from 25 lenders, which may 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, which is 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 $5.7 trillion in funding for the U.S. mortgage markets and financial institutions.

​Corinne Russell (202) 649-3032 / Stefanie Johnson (202) 649-3030
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