The National Average Contract Mortgage Rate is derived from the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) Monthly Interest Rate Survey (MIRS). From October 1989 through July 2008, the survey was conducted each month by the Federal Housing Finance Board, which was the latest incarnation of the former Federal Home Loan Bank Board (FHLBB), which was formed in 1932.
The series is the average contract rate reported by a sample of mortgage lenders (savings and loan associations, savings banks, commercial banks, and mortgage companies) for loans closed during the first 5 working days of the month up through October 1991, and for the last 5 working days of the month since November 1991.
The rate is based on conventional fixed- and adjustable-rate loans on previously occupied nonfarm single-family homes. The series trails interest-rate trends both because of the processing time and the fact that the rate on a loan closed often reflects a rate commitment made two or three months earlier.