30-Year Mortgages Increase to 5.13%, Says FHFA

Residential News » Residential Real Estate Edition | By Michael Gerrity | March 30, 2010 9:54 AM ET

The Federal Housing Finance Agency today reported that the average interest rate on conventional 30-year, fixed-rate, mortgage loans of $417,000 or less increased 3 basis points to 5.13 percent in February. The average interest rate on 15-year, fixed-rate loans of $417,000 increased 11 basis points to 4.65 percent in February.

These rates are calculated from the FHFA's Monthly Interest Rate Survey (MIRS) of purchase-money mortgages. These results reflect loans closed during the February 22-26 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-January.

The contract rate on the composite of all mortgage loans (fixed- and adjustable-rate) was 5.03 percent in February, up 4 basis points from 4.99 percent in January. The effective interest rate, which reflects the amortization of initial fees and charges, was 5.12 percent in February, up 5 basis points from 5.07 percent in January.

Initial fees and charges were 0.63 percent of the loan balance in February, up 0.09 percent from 0.54 in January. Forty-six percent of the purchase-money mortgage loans originated in February were "no-point" mortgages, down from 51 percent in January.

The average term was 27.5 years in February, down 0.3 years from 27.8 years in January. The average loan-to-price ratio in February was 74.8 percent, up 2.1 percent from 72.7 percent in January. The average loan amount was $208,600 in February, down $9,400 from $218,000 in January.

The National Average Contract Mortgage Rate for the Purchase of Previously Occupied Homes by Combined Lenders, used as an index in some ARM contracts, was 5.05 percent based on loans closed in February. This is an increase of 0.04 percent from the previous month.

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