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Examining Mortgage Rates

Interest rates on conventional purchase-money mortgages increased from October to November increased from October to November nationally, according to FHFA [1]’s recent Index. [2] These findings are based on several indices of new mortgage contracts.

Nationally, the average contract mortgage rate for the purchase of previously occupied homes by combined lenders recorded an increase by 11 basis points from 4.75 percent in October to 4.86 percent for loans closed in late November. The Index also found that the average interest rate on all mortgage loans was 4.82 percent, up 10 basis points from 4.72 in October.

Conventional 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages of $453,100 or less recorded an increase in the average interest rate at  4.99 percent—an increase of 12 basis points from 4.87 in October. In November, the effective interest rate on all mortgage loans was 4.91 percent, an upward spike of 10 basis points from 4.81 in October, according to the index. It stated that the effective interest rate accounts for the addition of initial fees and charges over the life of the mortgage. The loan amount on average for all loans was  $318,600 in November—an increase of $3,500 from $315,100 in October.

The survey provides monthly information on interest rates, loan terms, and house prices by property type (all, new, previously occupied), by loan type (fixed- or adjustable-rate), and by lender type. It also provides information on 15-year and 30-year fixed-rate loans as well as Adjustable Rate Mortgages (ARMs). Additionally, the survey provides quarterly information on conventional loans by major metropolitan area and by Federal Home Loan Bank district.

Results of these surveys are released at the end of the following month. FHFA will release its December index values on Thursday, January 24, 2019.