Washington state has the eighth-lowest closing costs on home mortgages in the nation, based on good-faith estimates, according to new research by Bankrate.com.The estimated average closing cost in Washington in 2012 is $3,418, compared to an estimated national average of $3,754.
That’s down considerably from last year, when Washington ranked 20th among states with the lowest estimated mortgage closing costs, according to the Florida-based research firm, which tracks consumer finances. Behind the shift: a sharp drop in estimated closing costs in Washington state, down 11 percent over the last year, compared to a 7 percent decline nationally.
In preparing its rankings, the Florida-based research firm used online good-faith estimates for a $200,000 mortgage on a single family home with a 20 percent down payment. Costs include lender fees as well as fees for appraisals and title insurance.
Taxes, property insurance, association fees, interest and other prepaid items are not included.
The decrease in closing costs, as reported in good-faith estimates, is due to stricter regulations on those estimates, according to Bankrate.com senior financial analyst Greg McBride.
“This is the second year in which lenders are required to estimate third-party fees within 10 percent of the final cost,” McBride said. “It seems like they’re getting more accurate, which helps explain the sharp decrease in these fees over the past year.”
According to Bankrate.com, mortgage expenses are highest in New York state at $5,435 and lowest in Missouri at $3,006.Breaking the data down, the average loan origination fee in Washington is $1,535, or 4 percent less than the national average of $1,595, while title and closing fees, at $1,833. are 13 percent lower than the national average of $2,159.