Mortgage closing costs up 8.8% from year earlier
Homebuyers who obtain mortgages in this environment of tightened lending standards are paying 8.8% more in closing costs than a year ago, according to Bankrate Inc. Origination and title fees are averaging $4,070 on mortgages for $200,000, according to the financial data firm's 2011 closing costs survey. That compares to average closing costs of $3,741 a year ago. The year-over-year change wasn't nearly as high as the 36.6% increase in closing costs between last year and 2009, when fees averaged $2,739 on a $200,000 home loan. A typical lender is now charging about $1,600 on origination fees, up 10% from last year. Those fees cover underwriting and processing charges. New York has the highest average closing costs at $6,183. Closing costs are also high in Texas, Utah, central California and Idaho. These fees are cheapest in Arkansas, averaging about $3,378. “Interest rates get a lot of attention, and rightfully so, but it’s also important for consumers to compare lender fees when shopping for a loan,” said Greg McBride, senior financial analyst at Bankrate.com. The company's surveyed 10 lenders in each state during the month of June. Closing costs usually include fees charged by lenders and third-party fees for appraisals, title insurance and other services. Write to Kerri Panchuk.