Monthly Home Payments Up 21% in Q4

Julie C. Nichols General

M Report – Colin Robins

RealtyTrac released Thursday a new housing affordability analysis, noting an average 21 percent increase in monthly house payments from a year ago. More than 300 U.S. counties were included in the analysis that measured "house payments for a median-priced three-bedroom home purchased in the fourth quarter of 2013—including mortgage, insurance, taxes, maintenance, and subtracting the estimated income tax benefit." The report showed that the average house payment of a home purchased in the fourth quarter of 2013 rose to $865.

That figure is based on a 30-year fixed rate mortgage with an interest rate of 4.46 percent and a 20 percent down payment. House payments have risen from the fourth quarter average of $714 in 2012, when interest rates were 3.35 percent. Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey reported a 33 percent increase in the average interest rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage over the 2012-2013 period, helping to push housing prices higher. The increase in payments caused an average 10 percent rise in median prices across the counties measured.

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