​How closing costs are making home-buying pricier

Buying a house is increasingly expensive, thanks to rising home prices. But now there's another part of the process that's hiking up the tab: Mortgage closing costs.

Costs to close a home loan have jumped 6 percent over the last year, reaching $2,539 on a $200,000 loan, according to Bankrate. Origination fees jumped 9 percent, reaching $1,877, the study found. Third-party fees rose 1 percent to $662.

What's behind the jump in mortgage closing costs? New mortgage regulations are the primary reason, senior mortgage analyst Holden Lewis said in a statement. But buyers will find a wide variation in closing costs, based on which state they're purchasing in. The most expensive states are Texas, with average closing costs of $3,046, and Alaska, at $2,897.

"The good news is that some lenders have not increased fees," Lewis said. "To get the best deal, consumers should compare good faith estimates from at least three different lenders."

Still, mortgage rates have dipped from the start of the year, with the national average for a 30-year loan now 4.12 percent, down from 4.53 percent at the beginning of the year.

But home prices in many parts of the country continue to surge, pricing would-be buyers out of the market. The Seattle area, for one, saw almost 40 percent of homes sold in the second quarter sell above their listing price, while bidding wars are pushing up prices of Seattle apartments, according to the Spokesman-Review.

And in San Francisco, the median home price recently reached $1 million, according to The Associated Press. Unfortunately, that cool million won't actually buy much in the Bay Area, where tech-fueled fortunes are padding buyers' war chests.

Because coastal cities are increasingly suffering from unaffordable housing, some Americans are picking up and moving to less expensive cities. About 8 percent of people who moved between 2012 to 2013 cited less expensive housing as the reason, compared with 6 percent in 1999, according the U.S. Census Bureau.

The states with the least expensive mortgage closing costs include Nevada, with an average of $2,265, and Tennessee, at $2,366, Bankrate said.

Its survey didn't include some other closing costs, such as taxes or title fees, so total closing costs on a home purchase would likely be higher than those listed.

  • Aimee Picchi

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