Mortgage interest rates continued their upward climb, with contract mortgage interest rates increasing 0.11% from August to September, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency's index of new mortgage contracts. 

The national average contract mortgage rate for the purchase of previously occupied homes by combined lenders hit 4.38% in late September, up from 4.26% in August and significantly higher than 3.56% a year ago.

Furthermore, the average interest rate on a conventional, 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage of $417,000 or less was 4.63% in September, a rise of 14 basis points.

The average loan amount for all loans hit $270,100 in September, a drop from $274,500 in August, FHFA said.