The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) 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 adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) contracts, was 3.54 percent based on loans closed in March. There was an increase of 0.11 from the previous month. The complete contract rate series can be found at by clicking here.

The average interest rate on conventional, 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage loans of $417,000 or less increased 12 basis points to 3.74 in March. These rates are calculated from the FHFA’s Monthly Interest Rate Survey of purchase-money mortgages (see technical note). These results reflect loans closed during the March 25 – 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-February.

The contract rate on the composite of all mortgage loans (fixed- and adjustable-rate) was 3.53 percent in March, up 11 basis points from 3.42 percent in February. The effective interest rate, which reflects the amortization of initial fees and charges, was 3.65 percent in March, up 10 basis points from 3.55 percent in February.

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 March, down 6 basis points from February. Twenty-three percent of the purchase-money mortgage loans originated in March were “no-point” mortgages, up from twenty percent in February. The average term was 27.4 years in March, up 0.3 years from February. The average loan-toprice ratio in March was 77.3 percent, up 0.1 percent from 77.2 percent in February. The average loan amount was $263,400 in March up $4,700 from $258,700 in February.