The Federal Housing Finance Agency today 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 4.58 percent based on loans closed in December. This is an increase of 0.16 percent from the previous month.

This Contract Rate series can be viewed by clicking here.

The average interest rate on conventional, 30-year fixed-rate mortgage loans of $417,000 or less increased 23 basis points to 4.61 percent in December. These rates are calculated from the FHFA’s Monthly Interest Rate Survey (MIRS) of purchase-money mortgages. These results reflect loans closed during the Dec. 23-31 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-November.

The contract rate on the composite of all mortgage loans (fixed- and adjustable-rate) was 4.52 percent in December, up 17 basis points from 4.35 percent in November. The effective interest rate, which reflects the amortization of initial fees and charges, was 4.63 percent in December, up 17 basis points from 4.46 percent in November. This report contains no data on adjustable-rate mortgages due to insufficient sample size.

Initial fees and charges were 0.80 percent of the loan balance in December, unchanged from November. Thirty percent of the purchase-money mortgage loans originated in December were “no-point” mortgages, up from 28 percent in November. The average term was 28.4 years in December, up 0.3 years from 28.1 years in November. The average loanto-price ratio in December was 75.6 percent, up 0.8 percent from 74.8 percent in November. The average loan amount was $209,500 in December, down $5,300 from $214,800 in November.