FHFA Sees Interest Rates Tick up in April

After mixed weekly results, the average interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) increased slightly in April, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA). According to the FHFA monthly report (download here), the average interest rate on conventional 30-year FRM with a principal of $417,000 or less increased 3 basis points (bps) to 5.12% from March’s average of 5.09%. The average rate for a 15-year FRM of $417,000 decreased 5 bps to 4.52% in April. The FHFA measured interest rates on loans that closed between April 26 and April 30. Since the rate is typically determined 30 to 45 days prior to closing, the report depicts market conditions prevailing in mid- to late-March, the FHFA said. As seen in the chart above, mortgage rates are nearly level with the November 2009 average. The average rate for all mortgages, both FRM and adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) was 5.02%, up from March’s average of 4.99%. The effective interest rate, including the amortization of initial fees and charges, was 5.12%, up 4 bps from the March average of 5.08%. The sample size of ARMs was too small to derive data for the loan segment. The FHFA said initial fees and charges averaged 0.63% of the loan balance, up from 0.61% in March. In addition, 45% of the purchase mortgages originated in April were no-point loans, up from 44% in March. The average loan term was 27.6 years in April, level with the March average. The average loan-to-price ratio in April was 74.3%, up 0.1% from 74.2% in March. The average loan amount was $218,800 in April, up $6,200 from $212,600 in March. In a separate report, the FHFA said the average contract mortgage rate for the purchase of previously occupied homes by combined lenders was 5.02% based on loans that closed in April, up from 5.05% in March. This rate is commonly used as an index in ARM contracts. Write to Austin Kilgore.

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