Where You Pay the Mostest and Get Approved the Leastest, so to Speak: Mortgage Rates, Fees & Denial Rates Differ Bigly by State

It’s not always in the states with the highest home prices.

The mortgage interest rate that a homebuyer faces and the mortgage fees, such as “points” and other fees, are tracked as an average across the US. We get reassuring data, such as what the average interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was last week, according to Freddy Mac or the Mortgage Bankers Association or whoever tracks mortgage rates. But buyers may be confronted on average with much higher or lower mortgage rates, mortgage fees, and mortgage application denial rates, depending on the state they’re trying to buy a home in, and the differences between states are breath-taking.

So here we go, average mortgage interest rates, average mortgage fees, and average denial rates by state.

Difference in Mortgage Rates by State.

A study by Clever Real Estate, based on data from the Housing Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) database, shows that the average mortgage interest rate by state in 2018 ranged from 4.24% at the low end to 7.71% at the high end:

  • At the low end, mortgage rates in Massachusetts, Alaska, and Hawaii averaged 4.6% or below.
  • At the high end, mortgage rates in Maine, West Virginia, and Ohio averaged over 7%.
  • By comparison, the average mortgage rate across all US states was 5.04%.

Many factors impact the average mortgage interest rate, such as the local economy, past foreclosure rates in the state, the average credit profile of home buyers, the density of lenders, and competition or lack thereof among them. In some states with a lot of lenders that have to show growth in mortgage origination to their shareholders, loan officers are eager to make deals and undercut each other.

“But in places like West Virginia, where only 40 out of every 100,000 residents is a loan officer, competition doesn’t have as much influence, leading to inflated rates,” Clever Real Estate said.

The table below shows average mortgage interest rates and average mortgage points & fees in 2018 for all 50 states and the District of Columbia, from the state with the lowest average mortgage interest rate to the state with the highest:

State % Interest rate Points &  Fees
Hawaii 4.2 $6,968
Alaska 4.6 $2,013
Massachusetts 4.6 $2,156
Connecticut 4.6 $972
Wyoming 4.6 $1,154
North Dakota 4.7 $1,036
Vermont 4.7 $830
Nebraska 4.7 $1,665
New York 4.7 $1,786
District of Columbia 4.7 $5,396
Rhode Island 4.7 $842
New Jersey 4.7 $1,427
South Dakota 4.7 $1,611
Montana 4.7 $1,570
New Hampshire 4.8 $1,731
Maryland 4.8 $1,674
Wisconsin 4.8 $1,144
Pennsylvania 4.8 $595
North Carolina 4.8 $1,878
Kansas 4.8 $684
Virginia 4.8 $2,479
Minnesota 4.8 $2,092
Delaware 4.8 $1,687
California 4.8 $3,614
South Carolina 4.8 $515
Washington 4.9 $3,079
Georgia 4.9 $2,816
Oregon 4.9 $2,553
Colorado 4.9 $2,457
Indiana 4.9 $977
Idaho 4.9 $1,373
Tennessee 4.9 $2,008
Alabama 4.9 $1,907
Illinois 4.9 $2,255
Arkansas 4.9 $2,107
Michigan 4.9 $950
Utah 5.0 $2,917
Louisiana 5.0 $1,880
New Mexico 5.0 $2,416
Kentucky 5.0 $1,495
Arizona 5.0 $2,860
Florida 5.0 $2,089
Oklahoma 5.0 $1,766
Mississippi 5.0 $2,104
Texas 5.1 $2,491
Missouri 5.3 $1,647
Nevada 6.2 $2,801
Iowa 6.5 $765
Ohio 7.1 $1,153
West Virginia 7.4 $1,599
Maine 7.7 $1,586

Differences in Mortgage Fees by State.

The study found that mortgage fees, such as “points” and fees for application processing, and documentation preparation, vary even more by state:

  • At the low end, points and fees averaged less than $600 in Pennsylvania and South Carolina.
  • At the high end, points and fees averaged over $5,000 in Washington DC and just under $7,000 in Hawaii.
  • By comparison, average mortgage fees across the US averaged a little under $2,000, or about 1% of the loan amount.

The dollar amount of fees is a function of many factors, including how hungry or lackadaisical competing lenders are, and the amount financed.

But it’s not straightforward. In terms of the price of the home, there are huge differences between states. But the 10 states with the highest fees, include some that have very expensive homes, such as California and Hawaii, and some that have much cheaper homes, such as Georgia and Texas. For example, in Hawaii and California, the average amount financed ($401,000) is almost the same, but fees in Hawaii ($6,968) are nearly twice as high as fees in California ($3,614).

The table shows the mortgage point and fees in dollar terms for all 50 states and the District of Columbia, from the lowest fees to the highest fees:

State Points &  Fees % Interest Rate
South Carolina $515 4.8
Pennsylvania $595 4.8
Kansas $684 4.8
Iowa $765 6.5
Vermont $830 4.7
Rhode Island $842 4.7
Michigan $950 4.9
Connecticut $972 4.6
Indiana $977 4.9
North Dakota $1,036 4.7
Wisconsin $1,144 4.8
Ohio $1,153 7.1
Wyoming $1,154 4.6
Idaho $1,373 4.9
New Jersey $1,427 4.7
Kentucky $1,495 5.0
Montana $1,570 4.7
Maine $1,586 7.7
West Virginia $1,599 7.4
South Dakota $1,611 4.7
Missouri $1,647 5.3
Nebraska $1,665 4.7
Maryland $1,674 4.8
Delaware $1,687 4.8
New Hampshire $1,731 4.8
Oklahoma $1,766 5.0
New York $1,786 4.7
North Carolina $1,878 4.8
Louisiana $1,880 5.0
Alabama $1,907 4.9
Tennessee $2,008 4.9
Alaska $2,013 4.6
Florida $2,089 5.0
Minnesota $2,092 4.8
Mississippi $2,104 5.0
Arkansas $2,107 4.9
Massachusetts $2,156 4.6
Illinois $2,255 4.9
New Mexico $2,416 5.0
Colorado $2,457 4.9
Virginia $2,479 4.8
Texas $2,491 5.1
Oregon $2,553 4.9
Nevada $2,801 6.2
Georgia $2,816 4.9
Arizona $2,860 5.0
Utah $2,917 5.0
Washington $3,079 4.9
California $3,614 4.8
District of Columbia $5,396 4.7
Hawaii $6,968 4.2

Denied mortgage applications.

The percentage of mortgage applications that have been denied varies even more extremely by state, ranging from 0.3% in Texas to 19.3% in Louisiana.

This is not only a function of how strict mortgage lenders are in each state but also to what extent people are encouraged to apply for mortgages even when they cannot afford them.

And it is unrelated to the average amount financed, because Louisiana is at the bottom of this list, with a denial rate of 19.3%, and an average amount financed of $170,000, compared to Hawaii with a denial rate that is nearly as high, at 18.1%, but an average amount financed of $401,000.

The Table below shows the denial rate by state, along with the average amount financed, and the average interest rate, from the lowest denial rate to the highest denial rate:

State % Denied Amount financed
Texas 0.3 $225,763
Washington 0.5 $299,041
Virginia 0.8 $267,049
New York 0.9 $355,646
Minnesota 0.9 $210,539
North Carolina 1.0 $197,380
Ohio 1.1 $149,187
Utah 1.1 $237,895
Michigan 1.2 $156,818
Pennsylvania 1.2 $170,908
Tennessee 1.2 $192,442
Wisconsin 1.3 $165,431
Maryland 1.4 $276,602
Missouri 1.5 $165,378
New Jersey 1.7 $277,165
South Carolina 1.8 $193,618
Nevada 1.8 $247,695
Oregon 2.0 $252,926
Oklahoma 3.0 $151,653
Florida 3.7 $223,952
California 4.2 $401,348
Nebraska 4.8 $162,605
Mississippi 4.8 $136,036
New Hampshire 5.8 $215,176
Georgia 5.9 $206,150
Maine 6.5 $183,870
Colorado 6.5 $284,652
New Mexico 6.5 $180,032
Arizona 6.8 $227,984
Montana 7.3 $223,463
Illinois 8.0 $210,465
Rhode Island 8.1 $208,891
South Dakota 8.7 $177,387
West Virginia 9.4 $136,102
Massachusetts 9.7 $327,635
North Dakota 9.8 $198,692
Indiana 10.4 $148,587
Iowa 10.7 $141,180
Alaska 12.1 $253,901
Wyoming 13.2 $210,342
Kansas 13.4 $168,190
Idaho 15.1 $192,883
District of Columbia 16.4 $472,745
Vermont 16.6 $176,694
Arkansas 17.3 $146,018
Kentucky 17.3 $147,851
Delaware 17.5 $217,364
Hawaii 18.1 $401,522
Connecticut 18.8 $252,880
Alabama 19.0 $163,514
Louisiana 19.3 $170,743

So this puts the mortgage market into the same category as the health insurance market and other markets were prices vary dramatically depending on which state you live in. And it’s not always the states with the highest home prices, such as California, that have the most expensive affiliated costs, such as mortgage fees and interest rates.

Southern California has decidedly entered the list of expense markets where apartment rents are on the decline. Other decliners from their prior peak-rent include San Francisco, San Jose, Seattle, New York City, Chicago, Honolulu, and Miami. But rents surge other markets by the double-digits. Read…  Rents Fall Southern California, Seattle, Miami, San Francisco, San Jose, Chicago, Honolulu & Others

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  60 comments for “Where You Pay the Mostest and Get Approved the Leastest, so to Speak: Mortgage Rates, Fees & Denial Rates Differ Bigly by State

  1. raxadian says:

    Hey , remember when they used to say that everything would be online so it would be easy to work from home?

    Everything is online but companies no longer want you to work from home.

    So this information is useful but not if the company you work for wants you to actually go to the office.

    • Stephen says:

      This has been puzzling to me as to how companies have been increasingly unwilling to let their people work remote. I think some of it is that there are still many boomers (I am a boomer myself) in management. Perhaps when the millenials take over the bulk of upper management jobs things may soften up. I have been pretty lucky over the past year as I have been able to work from home 1-2 days per week which helps with the wicked Tampa traffic. One thing is certain, let’s a lot of office space expense to be saved by ‘hoteling’ employees and not having to provide space for 100% of all your on-site people.

      • Trent says:

        what value would commercial real estate have if everyone worked from home?

      • Harrold says:

        Strangely, companies have no issues outsourcing key business functions to other countries.

      • Zantetsu says:

        In my experience, telecommuters are not as productive as those who come into work. This is in the software industry where theoretically you should be able to do your work anywhere. Despite this, there is a productivity dropoff once you go remote. I have seen this numerous times with numerous employees, good, mediocre, and bad.

    • Just Some Random Guy says:

      Companies allow quality employees to work from home.

      • sierra7 says:

        Just Some Random Guy:
        “Companies allow quality employees to work from home.”

        Er, like upper management of PG&E? Or maybe, Boeing?

        And to other commenters who regal working from home:
        Millions on millions of employees can’t work from home. They do most of the “scut” work in the good old USA. They’re stuck at the “office”; the grocery store, the healthcare industry, the mines, the sewers etc, etc.

        It almost reminds me of the talk over years about, “Having a great weekend!”
        Like all Americans have weekends off………
        Ok. I’m done.

    • Kent says:

      I worked as IT Director for a fairly large county in Florida (take I-4 and the Beachline). I requested that we set up the basics for staff to be able to work from home as a tangible benefit. He was adamantly opposed, saying that people wouldn’t work unsupervised. My response was simply that if you don’t know if people are working from home, you don’t know they’re working in the office either. That didn’t generate any thoughtful response.

  2. roddy6667 says:

    I think the person who pays the most is the idiot who gets approved for a mortgage when he shouldn’t even be given a used car loan. Any unplanned expense, like a broken shoelace, means he loses his down payment when the house gets foreclosed.
    I worked with a guy who got approved for a mortgage when the only credit he had was six payments at a buy-here-pay-here used car lot. Before that he was in prison for 9 1/2 years for second degree murder. The banks don’t care. If he makes two house payments, the loan is packaged up and resold. The bank is no longer at risk.
    I wonder how many people there are like him.

    • Just Some Random Guy says:

      I look at it the other way. The sucker is the person who pays their mortgage on time while deadbeats live rent free for years waiting for foreclosure. There was a family that lived in my ‘hood that foreclosed in 2012. They didn’t actually leave the house until 2018. 6 years of living rent free. While all of the neighbors, like suckers, paid our mortgage and property taxes on time.

      I once got their mail by mistake and it included a letter from their bank. It showed they were $138K in arrears. And this was about a year before they got booted.

      So tell me, who was the idiot in that situation?

      And yet even after all these years, deadbeat scum like that is still considered a “victim” by bleeding hearts and the MSM.

      • Javert Chip says:

        “so who was the idiot in that situation”

        Wild-assed guess: the guy reading other people’s mail.

    • They are letting a lot of people out of prison now, should be good for the economy. (and sales of home security systems)

  3. Joe says:

    The 3 levels of government are constantly borrowing and increasing taxes and fees in Canada with a highly inflated housing market relying on immigrants that 2/3 are government subsidized.
    I don’t see this ending well when the party is over and a downturn hits.

  4. Iamafan says:

    The Natural State of Arkansas is mentioned twice in the charts.

    • jrmcdowell says:

      Hey amigo, you come across as sincere, knowledgeable, and intelligent but some of the links (like the fortune piece in the prior article) you are posting are inaccurate and disingenuous pieces of garbage. Maybe take it easy on those. Just my thoughts. Cheers and best wishes to you.

      • Iamafan says:

        You call this INACCURATE:

        A recent study by a Fed economist and one from MIT estimate that Wall Street firms may have made as much as $653 million in fees selling bonds to the Fed. The economists, Zhaogang Song and Haoziang Zhu, conclude that, while that is a lot of money, it was probably a good deal for the Fed. Since QE has started, the Fed has bought $3.7 trillion in U.S. Treasury and mortgage bonds. The $653 million that the banks collected amounts to a commission of just under 0.02%, or 0.02 cents for every $100 in bonds that the Fed bought.

        • jrmcdowell says:

          The title of the article was “Big banks made $650 million off of Fed’s QE program.” And the entire premise of the article was that banks only benefited by the total amount of $650 million from QE which is absurd. That was only the fees (according to this article) and didn’t include the other ways Banks profited such as having their assets hugely inflated in value, or being able to sell their assets to the Fed at a higher price than a non-intervened market would have paid.

        • nhz says:

          I guess the real money is in frontrunning the Fed on treasury bonds; and for TBTF banks there is probably zero risk in doing that. That 0.02% commission is peanuts compared to the real thing. Just extrapolating from how it works in Europe with the ECB …

        • jrmcdowell says:

          Exactly, nhz, and it wasn’t only treasuries but included the hugely profitable mortgage-backed securities as well.

        • Iamafan says:

          The banks SOLD their securities to the Fed so how can they earn AFTER THAT. Since the Fed held (or hold) securities to maturity then the Treasury only returned PAR. If the Fed paid the banks a premium, then the Fed ate the loss. Meanwhile the FED earned the rest of the coupons after they bought it.

          The only way the banks made money AFTER THAT is interest on reserves: https://fred.stlouisfed.org/graph/?g=prD4
          or lending those reserves to other banks.

          I am not sure how the banks made extra money. If any of you have evidence, I would love to hear it.

        • jrmcdowell says:

          During the financial crisis, banks and non-banks were sitting on a ton of mortgage-backed securities. The Fed created a program (QE) and started buying huge amounts ($1.7T) of these MBS with the equivalent of newly created money.

          The Fed’s buying caused the price of the bonds to start going up (directly and via the front-running effect of others) which allowed the banks (and non-banks) to sell their MBS at a higher price than would have otherwise been received.

          This is how the Fed gifted financial players with newly created (printed) money. And the gifted money could have then been used to buy other assets such as stocks. Combine this with ZIRP and its pure rocket fuel for the markets. The same effect would have also applied to treasuries although they would have been less volatile than the MBS.

          Wolf provided an example the other day where hedge funds bought MBS for cents on the dollar and sold them to the Fed for face value. That’s one of the principles involved here.


          “Hedge funds and others that bought those distressed MBS for cents on the dollar from the Schwab fund when it was forced to sell them made a killing by selling them at face value to the Fed.”

        • jrmcdowell says:

          nhz, one additional benefit for those that sold their bonds to the Fed is that they were able to buy up other assets that had crashed in price during the 2008 financial crisis, thus giving them “first-mover” advantage to scoop up bargains on the cheap with Fed generated money and credit.

        • jrmcdowell says:

          “Just extrapolating from how it works in Europe with the ECB …”

          When the ECB announced they were going to start purchasing corporate bonds in 2016, it set off a flurry of new bond issues and scramble to front-run the ECB. Obviously, this would have provided huge windfall gains for those already holding existing corporate bonds. It was also a way to subsidize corporations with lower borrowing costs as yields plunged across all bond categories.

  5. 2banana says:

    Back in the bad old days before government tried to make things “fair” and buy votes.

    20% downpayment
    3 x income max for loan
    You had to prove you had a job
    You had to prove you had money in the bank
    You had to prove you could service all debt

    Because banks ate thier bad loans and bankers were fired or went to jail for too many bad loans.

    Houses were affordable.

    And just like health care and higher education, the more government got involved, the worse it gets…

    • Joe says:

      Banks got even corrupted by jumping into the stock market and banking trade of loans and credit. It has them prone to failure and now covered by governments and customers as we see with Cyprus and Greece.
      People suffered while the corrupted got a free ride.

    • Just Some Random Guy says:

      3X income in the days of 10% mortgages makes sense. In a world of 3-4% mortgages that ratio translates to 5X income.

    • Harrold says:

      Back the real bad old days, 50% down and 5 year terms were standard. But then all the banks became insolvent during the Great Depression.

    • Kent says:

      “And just like health care and higher education, the more government got involved, the worse it gets…”

      Not so fast. Those early, intelligent terms didn’t come from the banks, they came from the government in the form of the FNMA and FHA, which bought all those loans from the banks and packaged them up into mortgage backed securities and insured them.

      Then the banks developed the software to make their own MBS and went all private sector with AIG doing the insurance. Through the magic of financialized capitalism, they began to compete to see who could fill up the various tranches of those MBSs with the worst of the no-doc loans to ex-prison inmates. Cause they knew they could sell the trash off to various government employee pensions run by some New York hedgefundies.

      Even stalwart old FNMA had been privatized and began working to circle the drain in the toilet bowl. In the end, it was bad old government that had to step in to keep 100 million people from becoming unemployed when our Randian private sector heroes blue up the country.

  6. nhz says:

    what a joke compared with the Dutch home mortgage conditions …

    Netherlands: current 30 year fixed mortgage rate 1.6%, full mortgage cost deduction from income taxes (= 40-50% discount), no downpayment required, just 2% closing taxes (in some cases even lower), extra subsidies available for some “disadvantaged” groups, zero taxes on equity gains when selling.
    Best of all: comes with free government-sponsored insurance against financial loss when selling the home (NHG, some small print applies) and an impressive three decade trackrecord of 8-10% yearly price gains.

    I don’t know the rejection rate for mortgage applications, it seems to be increasing a bit lately (probably because people try for loans way above their pay grade?). Basically any Dutchie with a pulse and some income can get a home loan; if you want to rent a home on the other side, draconian requirements apply outside the social housing sector. In the early nineties we still had conditions similar to what 2banana mentions above, with 10-12% mortgage rates and yes, houses were affordable then and thanks to the government is has all been turned upside down.

    Even the EU is warning the Dutch government that they have to change their home bubble economics but they simply ignore all the warnings; they are doing fine with the (second?) highest public debt in the world at 270-290% of GDP, depending on what statistic you believe. What could possibly go wrong ;)

    • Old-school says:

      There were many cities that home values got cut by 50% in the US housing crisis. Even 20% down doesn’t seem very prudent as the asset could be substantially underwater. It seems like in the US that the regulators and Congress are determined to keep piling up more and more risk on US taxpayer’s balance sheet. Skinny down payment mortgages and $1.6 billion in student loans backed by US taxpayer.

      Here is another pisser. I signed up for Obamacare again today. Not sure, but I think this might be 6th or 7th year. I always get the cheapest plan. Each year Fed’s send around $8000 to insurance company, so we are up to around $50,000 now. I haven’t used it once. My financial assets are a little above $700k. All it has done is kept me from spending on discretionary items to keep my taxes from jumping from near zero to $12 – $15K. It’s just more satisfying doing without the sheet than paying the taxes.

    • Old-school says:

      A country makes a grave mistake giving excessive incentives to residential real estate. I understand why because it’s easy to spur the local economy thru debt, but in the end the bubble bursts, there is a debt hangover and the country becomes even more uncompetitive.

      If unsure when buying a home one probably should perform the calculation as if it is going to be a rental property with conservative assumptions to make sure you are not going to be the bag holder.

      • nhz says:

        I think there are other (additional) reasons behind this: once people are in debt, even if the monthly payment is very little like it is now (renting is 3-5x more expensive over here), they have them on the hook – especially when home prices start to fall. Politicians love being in control. And it allows the well-connected elites like RE moguls huge gains for very little work.

        While there is a government guarantee against loss on the home piggy bank mortgage in Netherlands, everyone with a few brain cells should understand that this is pure Ponzi and can never work with serious price declines. Either the rules for payout will be changed or the whole country will be bankrupt as soon as prices decline more than 10% on a prolonged basis (of course, the ECB will make sure this never happens by ramping up the printing presses even more). The insurance fund has a buffer that is less than 0.5% of the total mortgage value they insure, and politicians are lobbying to lower the entry cost for homeowners even more (people pay a one time 0.65% or so of the mortgage cost for insurance, but because of the insurance their total mortgage cost gets even lower than without insurance).

        Yes, I think the price of a home should reflect what you could reasonably charge as rental property. In my country with current sales prices, the net ROI is at most 2% or so; and that’s with renters paying over 50% of their income for rent which isn’t sustainable in the long run (we also have escalating health care expenses and other taxes). As a result most speculators simply leave the home empty – why bother with renters for so little money, if the price rises 8-10% on average every year? Once this bubble burst things will get really interesting … anyway, in 50 years half of the country might be under water so I have to wonder why so much effort to keep stupid mortgages from going under water, and not spending money on keeping the country safe ;(

  7. In two-thirds of Canada virtually no one earns enough to even consider buying a one bedroom apartment. Yet the banks turn down virtually everyone who tells the truth about their income. The market presently is driven by the Pakistani’s and Punjabs who pool a dozen or more paycheques or welfare cheques together and attempt to get a mortgage. The price of a house is irrelevant to all of them. A dozen or more of them live in one house.

    • Paulo says:

      Tony, your comment is pretty bitter and not correct. By 2/3 of Canada, do you mean cities like TO and YVR? There’s a nice home about 5 km from me with an ocean/mountain view for 230K. A new starter house in a nearby city…population 40K goes for around 300K. That house would require a household income of 90-100K with a minimal downpayment.

      I have a nephew in Victoria. He is in a dead end apprenticeship in a too expensive market. I just gave him some advice. Move, go back to school in a different location, then relocate permenantly.

      There are always options, imho. Regards

  8. Paulo says:


    Are mortgages limited by State location? What I mean is it possible for someone….say who lives in one state, perhaps near a border, able to obtain a mortgage from somewhere else? And if so, how about from somewhere across the entire continent? And, what about private financing for those with good credit? These things are all tranched and re-packaged, anyway.

    Thanks in advance.

    And Joe, your statements on immigrants and refugees to Canada are, at best, misleading. https://www.ctvnews.ca/politics/fact-check-do-refugees-get-more-financial-help-than-canadian-pensioners-1.2670735

    Plus: For local Govt “In Canada, 83% of the municipal government revenue is raised through their own sources, and legally their accounts cannot go into deficit, safeguarding the provinces from unintentionally guaranteeing their municipal governments’ debts.”

    And provincial governments that are running deficits can simply be voted out next election for a reset. And they often are, Ontario, a case in point.

    The system is pretty responsive, although it does take time to turn the ship around.

    • Joe says:

      Mainstream media is not a credible source for decades now. Political and financial agendas have decimated actual fact checking. If you strictly follow this, then you deserve the propaganda society that we currently have…
      Climate Emergency is another gimmick that is driving the kids crazy with bad data behind it.
      Businesses going belly up throws those numbers off too as less taxes in a community as they flee for jobs someplace else.

  9. doug munson says:


  10. Just Some Random Guy says:

    Mortgages like anything else are negotiable. Shop around for the best deal. It always amazes me how people who will spend hours negotiating $200 off the price of a car, will blindly sign a check for $5000 in closing costs to buy a house. When in fact, that $5000 could easily be negotiated down t o $3000 or less.

    Some fees are set like govt fees, title fees, etc. But any fee charged by a lender can be negotiated either down or outright away. The biggest rip off is appraisal fees which can be as high as $800. Tell your lender you’re paying $250 or you’re walking. Then there’s the origination fee. Which is so idiotic. It’s a fee for the honor of getting a loan from them. It would e like Walmart charging you a $20 enter the store fee. Never ever pay an origination fee.

    And unless you plan on staying in the house for a long time, don’t pay points upfront. The payback is never good.

  11. Rates are higher in poorer states? Makes sense, the poor pay the most for consumer credit.

    • Joe says:

      They are also too poor to escape and move away.

      • roddy6667 says:

        I don’t buy that. The Okies went from OK to CA in jury-rigged farm jalopies back in the Thirties. Now you can rent a U-Haul and change your life. I know some people from Aroostook County way up in Maine. They lived on a failed potato farm in an area of failed potato farms. One by one they moved south, mostly to CT, to get employment in construction and factories. It’s a 6 hour drive in a U-Haul. After WWII, black sharecroppers in the deep south moved to Detroit and other manufacturing cities. They left poverty in the rear view mirror.
        Most poor people won’t do that, however. They stay rooted in place, like the denizens of Appalachia, decades after the coal mines closed.

  12. fred flintstone says:

    Seven percent mortgage rates…….and the mob is a criminal enterprise?

    • doug says:

      at 7% for a secured loan I would think individuals would be lending if there was an app for that(and there probably is).

      Private mortgages can be good for both parties.

    • California Bob says:

      For perspective, my parents bought a small ‘ranch’–almonds and grapes, and a fixer-upper–forty years ago at 11% for a 30-year. Just sayin’

  13. Just Some Random Guy says:


    Are the rates in your charts, actual rates or APR? Because APR will be skewed higher for lower priced homes. Therefore lower cost states will have higher APR since the price is lower on average.

    A $1M house at 4% interest rate will have a much lower APR than a $300K house at 4% interest rate. As a % of price, fees are lower the higher the cost of the house.

    • Wolf Richter says:

      This is not APR. This is an average of the mortgage rates as stated on the mortgage documents in the Housing Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) database.

      APR would also include fees. So yes, APR would be higher compared to the stated mortgage rate.

  14. Andrey says:

    I live in WV, and this analysis is flawed.
    My mortgage is 4.25%, and I haven’t had much difficulty refinancing 3 times over past 4 years (e.g. there are enough lenders)

    The high rates reflect the type of consumer and type of housing in WV.
    Most of WV consumers likely don’t have high credit rating (poor state).
    Most of WV housing may require alternative type of loan (e.g. trailer)

  15. NARmageddon says:

    Wow, that database is really something. It appears that each and every mortgage in the whole country is included as a separate entry, for all of 2018. My copy is still downloading. Oh, it finished. It is 5.9GB worth of csv.
    The USG sure is a treasure-trove of data. If you know where to look. Or if someone nice will tell you :).

    If anyone wants to compute APR instead of nominal rate+plus points/expenses, I think it could be done from the data in the spreadsheet :).

  16. NARmageddon says:

    “But in places like West Virginia, where only 40 out of every 100,000 residents is a loan officer, competition doesn’t have as much influence, leading to inflated rates,” Clever Real Estate said.

    One debt officer per 2500 persons sounds like more than enough debt-generating capacity to me.

    • David Hall says:

      Lending is often done by apps instead of loan officers. Quicken Loans is a shadow bank originating more loans than the largest bank. The US shadow banking system was estimated as $15 trillion.

      Higher mortgage rates may reflect more subprime borrowers.

      • NARmageddon says:


      • Old-school says:

        Read an article a couple of years ago saying that Quicken Loans could blow up quickly during a housing downturn. Don’t really know enough about it. I think it was saying that they could get stuck with bad loans on their books and funding dry up.

  17. Iamafan says:

    The 10Y Yield rose more than 13 points today. Are we going to see higher mortgage rates soon?

  18. Mars says:

    Would the next step be: take top rejection percentage/fee states and see if there is a correlation with MBS lates and defaults in various 2018 tranches?

  19. Just Some Random Guy says:

    That data is wacky indeed. 7.7% mortgages in Maine? Come on. That’s ridiculous. If that were the case, housing in Maine would have collapsed in 2018. Instead if you look at the chart, it did nothing of the sort.


  20. jrmcdowell says:

    “… ranged from 4.24% at the low end to 7.71% at the high end”

    Stunning spread. For a $250k 30 yr mortgage that would be about a $550 per month difference in payment for the low and high rates.

  21. jrmcdowell says:

    Another claim of the study is that 15% of mortgages went to people with debt-to-income ratios above 43% in 2018. And that high DTI ratios coincided with higher mortgage payments and fees therefore adding cost to those who may be least able to afford it..

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