National data shows interest rates on mortgages declined slightly in March. 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 4.22 percent for loans closed in late March. This rate declined 0.08 percent from February to March, according to an index of new mortgage contracts. The index is calculated using FHFA’s Monthly Interest Rate Survey.
The contract rate on the composite of all mortgage loans was 4.22 percent, unchanged from February.
Interest rates are typically locked in 30-45 days before a loan is closed. Consequently, March data reflects market rates from mid-to-late February. The effective interest rate was 4.37 percent, down one basis point from 4.38 percent in February. 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 4.51 in March, an increase of six basis points. The average loan amount for all loans was $278,500 in March up $2,800 from $275,700 in February.