FHFA Index Shows Mortgage Interest Rates Remain Low in April


Washington, DC – May 30, 2013 – (RealEstateRama) — National data show interest rates on mortgages are stable at low levels. Contract mortgage interest rates increased slightly in April—up 0.02 percent from March, according to an index of new mortgage contracts.

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 3.56 percent for loans closed in late April. The index is calculated using FHFA’s Monthly Interest Rate Survey.

Interest rates are typically locked in 30-45 days before a loan is closed, so the April 24-30 data reflects market rates from mid-to-late March. 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 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 3.77 in April, an increase of 3 basis points. The average loan amount was $266,500 in April up $3,100 from $263,400 in March. FHFA will release May index values June 27, 2013.

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 www.fhfa.gov/Default.aspx?Page=251.

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 guaranteed or insured by the Federal Housing Administration or the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Data also excluded refinancing loans and balloon loans. April 2013 data are based on 6,447 reported loans from 30 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 $5.5 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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