National data show interest rates on mortgages increased in December. Contract mortgage interest rates increased 0.03 percent from November to December, according to an index of new mortgage contracts.

According to the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), the National Average Contract Mortgage Rate for the Purchase of Previously Occupied Homes by Combined Lenders index was 4.25 percent for loans closed in late December. The index is calculated using FHFA’s Monthly Interest Rate Survey. The contract rate on the composite of all mortgage loans was 4.25 percent, up 3 basis points from 4.22 in November.

Interest rates are typically locked in 30-45 days before a loan is closed. Consequently, December data reflect market rates from mid-to-late November. The effective interest rate was 4.40 percent, up 2 basis points from 4.38 percent in November. The effective interest rate accounts for the addition of initial fees and charges over the life of the mortgage.

FHFA’s interest rate survey shows the average interest rate on conventional, 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages of $417,000 or less was 4.54 in December, an increase of 6 basis points. The average loan amount for all loans was $277,600 in December up $12,700 from $264,900 in November.

FHFA will release January index values Thursday, February 27th, 2014.