The average national contract mortgage rate for the purchase of previously occupied homes by combined lenders hit 4.79% in February, up 0.8% from the previous month, the Federal Housing Finance Agency said Tuesday. That particular rate is commonly used as an index for adjustable-rate mortgages. Meanwhile, the average interest rate on a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage of $417,000 or less jumped 12 basis points to 4.97% in February on loans closed within the Feb. 22-28 time frame, FHFA said. Since the interest rates are generally determined 30 to 45 days in advance of a loan's closing, the late February rates depict market conditions that prevailed in mid- to late-January. In addition, the contract rate on all mortgage loans -- fixed and adjustable -- hit 4.80% in February, up 10 basis points from 4.70% in January. In February, initial fees and charges made up 0.80% of the total loan balance, which is unchanged from January. The average loan term on mortgages originated in February was 27.2 years, down slightly from 27.3 years the previous month. In addition, the average loan-to-price ratio in February rose to 74.7%, up 1.3% from January. The average loan amount hit $216,900, compared to $202,400 in January. Write to Kerri Panchuk.