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FHFA Survey: Mortgage Interest Rates Continue to Fall

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) has conducted its monthly interest rate survey for 4,437 loans closed during the last five business days in April across 17 lenders, and has reported a decline by over 10 basis points across in all mortgage interest rates. Interest rates have been falling since February 2017.

The largest drop in interest rates from March to April was to 30-year fixed rates for homes costing less than $424,100, which fell 20 basis points from 4.24 percent to 4.04 percent. Factoring in other types of mortgages other than a 30-year fixed, the average interest rate on all mortgages showed the smallest drop, down 14 basis to 3.98 percent from a previous 4.12 percent.

The National Average Contract Mortgage Rate for Previously Occupied Homes Index, which calculates interest rates on homes with at least one previous owner, dropped to 3.97 percent from 4.12 percent (15 basis points), and is currently the lowest interest rate reported by the institutions surveyed. Similarly, the average effective interest rate on all loans also declined 15 basis points from 4.25 percent to 4.10 percent, which is good news for homeowners but less fortunate for lenders.

In keeping with April’s trend, the average loan amount also fell slightly from $312,700 to $311,600, a nominal difference of $1,100 in comparison to March’s $11,100 mean increase.

It’s worth noting that all reports, with the exception of the specified 30-year fixed, can include 15-year mortgages and adjustable-rate mortgages. The survey, however, does not include mortgages that were refinanced from another mortgage or balloon mortgages. Nor does it include mortgages that are insured or guaranteed by the Federal Housing Administration or the United States Department of Veteran Affairs, multi-family loans, or loans on mobile homes.

While the FHFA does not name the 17 lenders surveyed for the report specifically, it does specify that they include an array of commercial banks, mortgage companies, savings associations, and mutual savings banks.

May’s index values will be released on Thursday, June 29. You can find previous months’ index reports here.

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