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Closing Costs Jump

Average U.S. closing costs $3,741

Aug. 16, 2010

By staff

The cost of obtaining a purchase-money mortgage has shot up more than a third over the past year. New compliance requirements were blamed for the rise. Arkansas is the least expensive of all states to close a loan.

The average closing costs on a mortgage used to purchase a home is $3,741, according to Bankrate Inc.'s 2010 Closing Costs Survey. Costs reflect origination, title and settlement fees on a 30-year fixed-rate loan for $200,000 with an 80 percent loan-to-value.

Last year's average costs were just $2,732.

Bankrate based its findings on a survey of one area in each of 49 states, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.

"One of the reasons for such a dramatic rise in the average estimated closing costs across the nation has to do with new regulations implemented in January of this year," the report stated. "When providing a potential borrower a Good Faith Estimate of costs, regulations now require lenders to provide a Title and Closing Fee estimate within 10 percent of what the final cost will be.

"In previous years, estimates could fall lower on the spectrum without penalty for the lender."

Closing costs were highest in New York: $5,623. The Empire State saw the figure increase from $3,408 last year -- when it ranked second. Origination fees accounted for $2,015 of the latest average, while title and closing fees represented a hefty $3,608.

Last year's No. 1, Texas, slipped to No. 2 this year with $4,708 in closing costs. In 2009, it cost $3,855 to finance a home purchase. This year's figure included $1,539 in origination fees and $3,169 in title and closing fees.

Utah was next with $4,605 in costs -- including $1,431 in origination costs and $3,174 in title costs.

In California, Bankrate divided the state into two regions. In San Francisco, costs were $4,566, ranking it fourth. No. 5 Los Angeles had $4,406 in average costs.

At the other end of the spectrum, average closing costs in Arkansas were just $3,007 -- the lowest of any state. Average origination fees in Arkansas were $1,466, while title and closing fees averaged $1,542.

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