Mortgage Closing Costs on the Rise, National Survey Says

(Los Angeles Times/MCT) -

It’s no secret that purchasing a home this year is more expensive than last. But rising home prices aren’t the only factor straining homebuyer pocketbooks.

Mortgage closing costs jumped 6 percent over the past year, according to a survey released Monday from Bankrate.com. The average closing cost on a $200,000 loan hit $2,539 nationally in June, compared with $2,402 a year earlier.

The increase came primarily from the fees lenders charge to originate home loans. Those fees rose 9 percent, while third-party fees – such as those for appraisals – climbed just 1 percent, Bankrate said.

A series of new mortgage regulations this year helped drive up closing costs, according to Bankrate analyst Holden Lewis. The rules, designed to ensure borrowers have the ability to repay their loans, took effect in January.

However, closing costs were already rising before the rules took effect. In 2013, Bankrate also reported a 6 percent increase in closing costs nationwide.

Texas had the highest fees in the nation this year. Closing costs, including origination and third-party fees, reached $3,046, on average, for a $200,000 mortgage.

California was the 22nd-most-expensive state for closing costs. The fees stood at $2,542 in the Golden State, essentially the same as the nation as a whole.

In its June survey, Bankrate asked lenders in all 50 states and Washington, D.C., for estimates of closing costs for a $200,000 mortgage on a single-family home in which the borrower put 20 percent down.