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US Mortgage Rates Holding Steady

US Mortgage Rates Holding Steady

Mortgage rates in the United States rose a slight 0.02 percent in April, according to the latest report by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA).

The national average contract rate on purchases of existing homes moved to 3.56 percent, based on a survey of lenders. However, since interest rates are typically locked in 30 to 45 days before a loan is closed, the latest index data reflects mid-March rates, the agency notes.

The data comes on heels of speculation that mortgage rates will rise steadily this year, or, as one columnist puts it, the "gravy train" may be over for U.S. buyers.

Although the contract rate increased only 0.02 percent, the effective interest rate was 3.69 percent in April, up 4 basis points from 3.65 percent in March, the agency says. The effective interest rate accounts for "the addition of initial fees and charges over the life of the mortgage."

According to the agency, FHFA's interest rate survey shows the average interest rate on conventional, 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages of $417,000 or less was 3.77 in April, an increase of three basis points. The average loan amount was $266,500 in April up $3,100 from $263,400 in March.

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