Mortgage rates up in March

A new report from the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) shows that interest rates on conventional purchase money mortgages slightly increased in March over the previous month.

The average interest rate on all mortgage loans was 3.8 percent, up from 3.77 percent in February. Interest rates on 30 year fixed rate mortgages increased to 3.95 percent from 3.91 percent over the same period for loans of $417,000 or less. Despite the month over month increase, compared to a year prior, rates are still down significantly, as the FHFA report showed average rates were 4.22 percent in March 2014.

Effective interest rates, which factor in fees, charges and other expenses that occur over the duration of the term, rose from 3.92 percent in February to 3.95 percent in March, marking the second consecutive month this category came in below 4 percent. Prior to this, the previous 19 months were above that number.

The average loan amount was up almost $17,000 month over month, to $310,800 in March. That average increased to $339,000 for newly built homes, an all time high in that category. According to the FHFA, this is a strong indicator of a market on the rise.

"The FHFA House Price Index shows that house price appreciation in February was extremely strong and shows little evidence of any slowdown," FHFA principal economist Andrew Leventis told The MReport.

The FHFA compiles their monthly reports based on surveys of mortgage lenders throughout the country.

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