Conventional mortgage rates went up to start the year, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s (FHFA) monthly rate report. The average interest rate on conventional 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) with a principal of $417,000 or less was 5.1% in January, an increase from 5.05% in December, the FHFA said. The average interest rate on 15-year FRM of $417,000 or less stayed at 4.54% in January. The rates are derived from the FHFA’s Monthly Interest Rate Survey (MIRS) of purchase mortgages, reflecting loans closed from Jan. 25 to Jan. 31. Since typically, the interest rate is determined 30 to 45 days before the loan is closed, the rates depict market conditions prevailing in mid- to late-December, FHFA said. The data is based on a monthly survey of major lenders that report the terms and conditions on all conventional, single-family, fully amortized, purchase-money loans closed the last five working days of the month. The survey excludes Federal Housing Administration (FHA)- and Veterans Administration (VA)-backed loans, refinance mortgages and balloon loans. The data is based on 3,981 loans from 39 lenders representing savings associations, mortgage companies, commercial banks, and mutual savings banks and weighted to reflect the shares of mortgage lending by lender size and lender type. The average contract rate for all loan types — fixed- and adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) — was 4.99% in January, up 7bps from 4.92% in December. The effective interest rate, which reflects the amortization of initial fees and charges, was 5.07% in January, up 6bps from 5.01% in December. The average origination fees and charges were 0.54% of the loan balance in January, down from 0.62% in December. FHFA said 51% of purchase mortgages originated in January were no-point mortgages, up from 45% in December. The average loan-to-price was 72.7%, down 1.2% from 73.9%. In a separate report, FHFA said that in January the national average contract mortgage rate for the purchase of previously occupied homes was 5.01%, up from 4.02% in December. This rate is commonly used to adjust ARM rates and previously was the only index rate that federally chartered savings and loan associations could use as an adjustable-rate mortgage index in the early 1980s. Write to Austin Kilgore.