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Mortgage Fees Retreat

8% decline in cost to close a U.S. mortgage

Aug. 6, 2012

By staff

Closing costs on U.S. mortgages have fallen 8 percent over the past year. Much of the decline was the result of lower title and closing costs. One state has held the distinction of being the most expensive state to close a mortgage for three years in a row.

The average U.S. mortgage borrower paid $3,754 in closing costs. Mortgages cost less than the $4,070 average in 2011.

This year's average included $2,159 in title and closing costs, declining from $2,456 in the prior-year report.

Origination fees slipped to an average of $1,595 from the prior year's $1,614.

Costs were determined by a survey conducted by Ten lenders were surveyed in each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia about a hypothetical $200,000 purchase-money mortgage with a 20 percent down payment. It was the eighth time around for the report.

"This is the second year in which lenders are required to estimate third-party fees within 10 percent of the final cost," said Senior Financial Analyst Greg McBride. "It seems like they're getting more accurate, which helps explain the sharp decrease in these fees over the past year."

New York maintained its standing as the most costly state to close a mortgage at $5,435. It was the third consecutive year that the Empire State was most expensive.

Next was Texas, where the average cost was $4,619. After that was $4,467 in Pennsylvania, $4,395 in Florida and $4,352 in Oklahoma.

Missouri's $3,006 was the lowest of all states.

At $1,813, New York had the most expensive origination fees. Hawaii's $1,769 in origination fees were the next-worst, then $1,717 in Pennsylvania, $1,713 in Wisconsin and $1,701 in Texas.

The highest title and closing costs were also found in New York at $3,622. Texas followed with $2,918, then Florida's $2,772, Pennsylvania's $2,751 and Oklahoma's $2,748.

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