News Column

FHFA Index Shows Mortgage Interest Rates Increase Slightly in April

May 29, 2014

WASHINGTON, May 29 -- Federal Housing Finance Agency issued the following news release:

National data shows interest rates on mortgages slightly increased, 0.02 percent from March to April, 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 4.24 percent for loans closed in late April. The index is calculated using FHFA's Monthly Interest Rate Survey. The contract rate on the composite of all mortgage loans was 4.23 percent, a slight increase from 4.22 percent in March.

Interest rates are typically locked in 30-45 days before a loan is closed. Consequently, April data reflects market rates from mid- to late-March. The effective interest rate was 4.38 percent, up 1 basis point from 4.37 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 4.53 in April, an increase of 2 basis points. The average loan amount for all loans was $283,800 in April up $5,300 from $278,500 in March.

FHFA will release May index values Thursday, June 26, 2014.

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

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Source: FHFA

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 either guaranteed or insured by either the Federal Housing Administration or the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Data also excluded refinancing loans and balloon loans. March 2014 data are based on 4,084 reported loans from 20 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).

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Source: Targeted News Service