Nationally, interest rates on conventional purchase-money mortgages decreased from December to January, according to several indices of new mortgage contracts.

The National Average Contract Mortgage Rate for the Purchase of Previously Occupied Homes by Combined Lenders index was 3.88 percent for loans closed in late January, down 10 basis points from 3.98 percent in December.

The average interest rate on all mortgage loans was 3.89 percent, down 11 basis points from 4.00 in December.

The average interest rate on conventional, 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages of $417,000 or less was 4.06 percent, a decrease of 13 basis points from 4.19 in December.

The effective interest rate on all mortgage loans was 4.04 percent in January, down 11 basis points from 4.15 percent in December. The effective interest rate accounts for the addition of initial fees and charges over the life of the mortgage.

The average loan amount for all loans was $291,300 in January, down $7,000 from $298,300 in December.