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Both the price of new homes and the cost of mortgages to buy rose in August. New home prices rose an average of $6,000 and loans rose 26 basis points.

Price and Rate Hikes Hit New Homes

Both the price of new homes and the cost of mortgages to buy rose in August. New home prices rose an average of $6,000 and loans rose 26 basis points.

In August, both the contract and effective rates on new home loans were higher than they’ve been at any time since September of 2011. Interest rates on conventional mortgages used to purchase newly built homes increased for the third month in a row, according to data released last week by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA). After rising by roughly 1 tenth of a percentage point in June and roughly 4 tenths in July, the average contract interest rate on conventional loans for newly built homes increased by another 26 basis points in August, to 4.20 percent.

The average initial fee on the new home loans dipped slightly, from 1.11 to 1.06 percent. That was not nearly enough to offset the increase in the contract rate, so the effective rate on the loans (after amortizing the initial fees) also increased by 26 basis points, to 4.33 percent. Meanwhile, the average term on conventional new home loans continues to hover around 28 and half years.

After two months of declines, the average size of new home loans and price of the homes purchased with the loans both increased in July. The loan amount increased for the second month in a row, to $308,300, while the loan-to-price ratio remained relatively constant at 78.7 percent. As implied by those numbers, the average price of new homes purchased with conventional loans increased by $6,000, to $400,400-marking only the second time in 2013 that the price has been as high as $400,000.

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