If you're buying a new home or refinancing, mortgage closings costs are up six percent over the past year to an average of $2,402 nationally on a $200,000 loan. New Jersey has the seventh highest closing costs in the nation averaging $2,545 according to Bankrate.com. Origination fees accounted for a bulk of the increase. They jumped eight percent, while third-party fees edged up one percent.

"Some lenders say costs are up partly because they are spending more on compliance as they adjust to a series of new mortgage regulations that go into effect next year," said Polyana da Costa, senior mortgage analyst at Bankrate.com. "Another factor that could be effecting closing costs is that mortgage rates were near record lows for quite some time. As a result, there was a large demand for mortgages from refinancers. I think mortgage lenders didn't have to compete as much for business and they were free to charge higher fees. I suspect that is going to change as mortgage rates rise."

Hawaii has the highest closing costs in the nation averaging $2,919. Alaska, South Carolina, California and New Mexico round out the top five. Wisconsin has the lowest averaging $2,119. Missouri, Kansas, Michigan and Washington make up the bottom five.

"The higher rates definitely have an impact on homebuyers. That's why it is so important when people are looking for a mortgage to look beyond the interest rate on their loan. I always recommend that potential homebuyers shop around and compare closing costs from at least three lenders. I think so many borrowers are focused so much on getting the best interest rate that they overlook closing costs. A significant amount of money can be saved by simply comparing closing costs," said da Costa.





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