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Mortgage Rates in Florida — Plus Stats, First-Time Homebuyer Programs and Mortgage Refinancing

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The average mortgage interest rate in Florida is 3.39%, just 0.7% higher than the national average of 3.37%.

Many factors go into the interest rate that borrowers pay, including their credit score. But Florida ranks in the bottom half of states with an average borrower credit score of 728, six points lower than the national average of 734.

Beyond mortgage rates in Florida, we’ll compare the state’s real estate market. We’ll also provide mortgage facts on the Sunshine State’s biggest cities and towns, and information about some of the state’s first-time homebuyer programs.

Mortgage rates in Florida, plus more stats on the Sunshine State

How Florida mortgages compare to the rest of the U.S.
U.S. Florida Difference Difference % Rank among states
Average borrower credit score 734 728 -6 -0.8% 35
Average mortgage size $284,152 $246,280 -$37,872 -13.3% 27
Average mortgage monthly payment $1,252 $1,091 -$161 -12.9% 28
Average mortgage interest rate 3.37% 3.39% 0.02% 0.7% 18
Average mortgage APR 3.61% 3.63% 0.02% 0.5% 19

Source: LendingTree internal data.
Note: Includes 30-year mortgages closed in 2020. State rankings go from high (1) to low (50) for credit score, mortgage size and monthly payment. State rankings go from low (1) to high (50) for interest rate and APR.

How Florida mortgage-holders compare to the rest of the U.S.
U.S. Florida Difference Difference % Rank among states
Median home value $239,100 $231,700 -$7,400 -3.1% 24
Median household income $93,884 $80,863 -$13,021 -13.9% 40
Median monthly housing costs $1,595 $1,503 -$92 -5.8% 23
Median real estate taxes (annual) $2,750 $2,107 -$643 -23.4% 28

Source: American Community Survey (2019 5-Year Estimates), U.S. Census Bureau.
Note: Real estate taxes are for homes with active mortgages. Home values are estimated by surveyed owners. State rankings go from high (1) to low (50).

While average mortgage rates in Florida are slightly above the national rate, the state has more of a dramatic difference in the median income among households with a mortgage. Florida ranks 40 out of 50 states with a median homeowner income of $80,863, compared with $93,884 nationally. That’s a 13.9% difference.

Average monthly mortgage payments in Florida are 12.9% less than the national average. Florida homeowners pay an average of $1,091 a month, compared with $1,252 nationally.

On the other hand, Florida ranks 24th in the U.S. with a median home value of $231,700, which is 3.1% lower than the median value nationally of $239,100.

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Mortgage facts in Florida’s biggest cities and towns, from Alafaya to West Palm Beach

LendingTree’s research provided in-depth comparisons of various mortgage facts among the state’s largest cities and towns with a population of at least 50,000 residents.

We have data on:

  • The percentage of homes with an active mortgage
  • Median home values
  • Median housing costs for renters and homeowners
  • Median incomes for renters and homeowners
  • Median property taxes

Florida’s three largest cities by population — Jacksonville, Miami and Tampa — have very different housing markets.

For example, the percentage of homes with an active mortgage is low in Miami at just 29.6%, compared with:

  • 48.6% in Tampa
  • 56% in Jacksonville

The difference may be because the median rent and median homeowner costs gap is widest in Miami.

  • In Miami, renters pay a median of $1,183 a month, versus $1,973 for homeowners
  • In Tampa, renters pay a median of $1,131 a month, versus $1,622 for homeowners
  • In Jacksonville, renters pay a median of $1,065 a month, versus $1,366 for homeowners

Home values vary widely between the three cities, too. In Jacksonville, the median home value is $183,700, compared with $258,200 in Tampa and $334,100 in Miami.

Top 5 and bottom 5 in Florida

The percentage of homes with an active mortgage varied widely across Florida, from as low as 29.6% to as high as 95.9%. Here’s a closer look at that, as well as the cities and towns in Florida with the lowest and highest annual median property taxes.

3 first-time homebuyer programs in Florida

For first-time homebuyers, saving for a down payment and qualifying to take advantage of low mortgage rates in Florida can be challenging. In Florida, there are multiple programs designed to help first-time buyers overcome those obstacles.

3%, 4% and 5% HFA Preferred and HFA Advantage PLUS Second Mortgage

This program provides 3%, 4% or 5% of your total loan amount as a second mortgage to help with a down payment or closing costs. The second mortgage, with a 0% interest rate and no payment required, comes with a five-year term that is forgiven at 20% a year through that period.

Who qualifies?

First-time homebuyers must:

  • Have a minimum credit score of 640
  • Meet income and purchase price limits set by the county
  • Use the assistance in conjunction with a Florida Housing Finance Corp. first mortgage
  • Complete homebuyer education

Florida Assist

The Florida Assist down-payment assistance program offers up to $7,500. This is a deferred second mortgage with 0% interest and no monthly payments that must be repaid if the home is sold or refinanced or is no longer the owner’s primary residence.

Who qualifies?

First-time homebuyers must meet the same requirements as those seeking assistance from the 3%, 4% and 5% program (see above).

Florida Homeownership Loan Program

The Florida Homeownership Loan Program offers a second mortgage for up to $10,000 in down-payment assistance. The 15-year loan has a 3% interest rate and requires monthly payments of $69.06. After 15 years, any unpaid balance is deferred — unless the home is sold or refinanced or is no longer the owner’s primary residence.

Who qualifies?

First-time homebuyers must meet the same requirements as those seeking assistance from the 3%, 4% and 5% program (see above).

How to refinance your mortgage in Florida

If you own your home, it pays to check mortgage rates in Florida to compare your monthly payments at different rates. Knowing your monthly housing costs is a first step to determining whether it makes sense to refinance.

When you refinance your mortgage, your current one is paid in full and you start a new loan with new terms. You’ll need to qualify for a refinance based on your home value and your credit qualifications.

Think about your financial goals and needs when you’re considering a mortgage refinance. You may want to extend your loan to a new 30-year mortgage if you want to lower your payments or you may want to shorten your loan term to pay it off and build equity more quickly.

Some homeowners who have paid down their loan balance and have seen home values rise may have significant equity that they want to use for a home improvement or other financial need. For every homeowner, refinancing is an individual decision.

Once you’ve decided to refinance, shop for a lender, and compare mortgage rates, fees and loan terms to ensure you’re getting your best deal.

Sources

  • LendingTree proprietary and anonymized 2020 customer data
  • U.S. Census Bureau American Community Survey, 2019 5-year estimates (latest available)
 

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