Interest rates on conventional purchase-money mortgages decreased from November to December, according to several indices of new mortgage contracts compiled by the Federal Housing Finance Agency.

The National Average Contract Mortgage Rate for the Purchase of Previously Occupied Homes by Combined Lenders index was 3.98% for loans closed in late December, down 2 basis points from 4% in November. 

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(Source: FHFA)

The average interest rate on all mortgage loans was 4% percent, down 1 basis point from 4.01% in November.

The average interest rate on conventional, 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages of $417,000 or less was 4.19%, a decrease of 5 basis points from 4.24 in November.

The effective interest rate on all mortgage loans was 4.15% in December, down 1 basis point from 4.16% in November. 

The effective interest rate accounts for the addition of initial fees and charges over the life of the mortgage.

The average loan amount for all loans was $298,300 in December, up $4,700 from $293,600 in November.