National data show interest rates on mortgages interrupted their upward trend. Contract mortgage interest rates decreased 0.04 percent from September to October, 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 4.32 percent for loans closed in late October. The index is calculated using FHFA’s Monthly Interest Rate Survey. The contract rate on the composite of all mortgage loans was 4.32 percent, down 4 basis points from 4.36 in September.
Interest rates are typically locked in 30-45 days before a loan is closed. Consequently, October data reflect market rates from mid-to-late September. The effective interest rate was 4.49 percent, down two basis points from 4.51 percent in September. 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 4.58 in October, a decrease of 5 basis points. The average loan amount for all loans was $269,000 in October down $1,100 from $270,100 in August. FHFA will release November index values Tuesday, December 24, 2013.