Lending Tree says FHA’s change in guidelines may increase mortgage rates

Texas, Washington and New York Have Lowest Interest Rates in the Country

st-louis-realtor-dennis-norman-fha-increases-ratesAccording to the LendingTree Monthly Mortgage Review, average mortgage rates inched up in March, with more borrowers than ever taking advantage of low Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loan rates which averaged just 3.85 percent on a 30 year loan, almost 1/2 of one percent less than a conventional mortgage. However, according to the report, this may change soon as a result of the FHA adjusting its loan program guidelines and insurance premium structure which will cause the cost of a loan for future FHA borrowers to most likely increase.

Up-front FHA insurance premiums increased by 70 percent effective today

Effective today, up-front insurance premiums will increase to 1.7 percent of the loan amount, up from 1 percent. In addition, the monthly premium charge will increase 1/10 of one percent. In contrast, existing homeowners refinancing an existing FHA loan will see their costs decrease. Beginning in June, the FHA will lower its upfront and annual premiums for existing FHA borrowers, saving the average FHA borrower approximately $3,000 per year.

Tracking the National Spread

LendingTree tracked the lowest, average and highest rates offered from more than 200 mortgage lenders on the LendingTree network for each loan program in March. In March, 2012, average mortgage rates offered by LendingTree network lenders were 4.34 percent (4.56% APR) for 30-year fixed mortgages, 3.53 percent (3.89% APR) for 15-year fixed mortgages and 3.07 percent (3.36% APR) for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages (ARM).

Loan Program Min. Rate Offered Avg. Rate Offered Max. Rate Offered
30-Year Fixed 3.500% 4.34% 5.900%
15-Year Fixed 2.875% 3.53% 5.375%
5/1 (ARM) 2.500% 3.07% 5.125%

The top ten metro areas with the lowest average rates in the Country according to LendingTree data for March are:

Top Ten Metro Areas with Lowest Average Rate
Metro Area 30-yr Fixed Rate
Austin, TX 3.97%
San Antonio, TX 4.00%
Seattle, WA 4.05%
Staten Island, NY 4.08%
Washington, DC 4.08%
Los Angeles, CA 4.11%
Denver, CO 4.13%
San Diego, CA 4.14%
Portland, OR 4.15%
Minneapolis, MN 4.16%


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