Looking back, the housing industry is totally Scrooged

Looking back, the housing industry is totally Scrooged

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FHFA: 30-year fixed-rate mortgage passes 5%

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The average interest rate on a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage reached 5.06% in March, an increase of 9 basis points from the previous month, according the Federal Housing Finance Agency. It's the first time the rate passed 5% on the 30-year FRM since June. The low since then was 4.38% in November. The FHFA calculates the average interest rate on purchase mortgages of less than $417,000 closed during the week ended March 31. The rate on the composite of all mortgage products, both fixed and adjustable-rate, was 4.84% in March, up 4 bps from the month before. Initial fees and charges averaged 0.95% of the loan balance in March, up 15 bps from February. According to the FHFA, 25% of the mortgages originated in March were "no-point" mortgages, down from 30% in February. While interest rates continue to rise, loan amounts are heading down. The average loan was for $208,600 in March, down $8,300 from February. The pain of higher rates was felt at the largest banks during the first quarter, pushing mortgage origination volumes down 33% from the previous quarter. Wells Fargo (WFC) saw a $741 million decline in mortgage banking fees on $44 billion in originations. Write to Jon Prior. Follow him on Twitter @JonAPrior.

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