Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) recently reported that 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 4.08 percent based on loans closed in February.

Beginning this month, FHFA is calculating interest rates using un-weighted survey data. For January, a comparable rate based on unweighted data would have been 4.18 percent. Thus, there was a decrease of 0.10 percent from the previous month’s corresponding un-weighted rate. The average interest rate on conventional, 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage loans of $417,000 or less decreased 5 basis points to 4.36 percent from January’s figure based on unweighted data.

These rates are calculated from the FHFA’s Monthly Interest Rate Survey of purchase-money mortgages. These results reflect loans closed during the February 23-29 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 4.05 percent in February, down 9 basis points from 4.14 percent, based on un-weighted data, in January. The effective interest rate, which reflects the amortization of initial fees and charges, was 4.17 percent in February, down 10 basis points from 4.27 percent, based on un-weighted data, in January. This report contains no data on adjustable-rate mortgages due to insufficient sample size.

Initial fees and charges were 0.93 percent of the loan balance in February, up 0.04 percent from 0.89, based on un-weighted data, in January. Thirty-one percent of the purchase money mortgage loans originated in February were “no-point” mortgages, down three percent from the un-weighted share in January. The average term was 28.8 years in February, up 0.1 years from an un-weighted 28.7 years in January. The average loan-to-price ratio in February was 75.3 percent, down 0.4 percent from 75.7 percent, un-weighted, in January. The average loan amount was $244,300 in February, up $7,300 from an unweighted $237,000 in January.

For more information, visit http://www.fhfa.gov