January 27, 2012 (Jeff Alan)

The average interest rates for conventional 30-year fixed rate mortgages decreased from 4.40 percent in November to 4.32 percent in December according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s (FHFA) Monthly Interest Rate Survey.

The results of the survey reflect loans closed during the December 23-30 period from 26 lenders and data from 2,592 mortgage loans. Since mortgage loans typically take 30-45 to close, the reported rates reflect market conditions in mid to late November.

The average interest rate of all mortgage loans, fixed and adjustable-rate, was 4.13 percent in December, down from 4.20 percent in November.

The effective mortgage interest rate, including initial fees and charges, declined to 4.24 percent from 4.31 percent in November.

Thirty-two percent of all purchase-money mortgage loans were no-point loans, down from 34 percent in November. That follows a six percentage point gain in November.

Initial fees and charges averaged 0.83 percent of the loan balance in December, up from 0.78 percent in November.

The average loan amount increased to $221,700 in December from $220,500 in November, with the average loan-to-price ratio declining from 78.7 percent in November to 78.4 percent in December.

The National Average Contract Mortgage Rate for the Purchase of Previously Occupied Home by Combined Lenders, used to index some ARM contracts, declined from 4.22 percent in November to 4.15 percent in December.

Tags: FHFA, mortgage interest rates, purchase money mortgages, initial fees and charges, points, mortgage loan, ARM, no-points mortgage