Federal Housing Finance Agency Reports Mortgage Interest Rates


Washington, DC – March 28, 2013 – (RealEstateRama) — 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 3.43 percent based on loans closed in February. There was an increase of 0.08 from the previous month. The complete contract rate series can be found at http://www.fhfa.gov/Default.aspx?Page=251.

The contract rate on the composite of all mortgage loans (fixed- and adjustable-rate) was 3.42 percent in February, up 8 basis points from 3.34 percent in January. The effective interest rate, which reflects the amortization of initial fees and charges, was 3.55 percent in February, up 9 basis points from 3.46 percent in January.

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

Initial fees and charges were 0.99 percent of the loan balance in February, down 4 basis points from January. Twenty percent of the purchase-money mortgage loans originated in February were “no-point” mortgages, up from 26 percent in January. The average term as 27.1 years in February, unchanged from January. The average loan-to-price ratio in February was 77.2 percent, up 0.8 percent from 76.4 percent in January. The average loan amount was $258,700 in February up $4,000 from $254,700 in January.

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 March index value will be announced on April 25, 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 5,215 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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