Refinance & Lower Loan Payments

Mortgage rates are hovering near three-year lows, and more homeowners may want to start taking advantage. Up to 20 million homeowners could “theoretically” see a 75-point drop in mortgage rates by refinancing, according to a recent analysis from Black Knight.

For homeowners with a credit score of at least 720 and with 20% of equity in their property, they could see savings of nearly $270 per month from lower rates.

Homeowners are starting to respond to lower rates. Refinances are at the highest point since mid-2016 and have doubled since late July. Refinances are up 37% over the past week alone, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.

Rates Hover Near Record Lows

“The sound and fury of the financial markets continue to warn of an impending recession; however, the silver lining is mortgage demand reached a three-year high this week,” says Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist. “The decline in mortgage ratesover the last month is causing a spike in refinancing activity—as homeowners currently have $2 trillion in conventional mortgage loans that are in the money—which will help support consumer balance sheets and increase household cash flow. On top of that, purchase demand is up 7% from a year ago.”

Freddie Mac reports the following national averages for the week ending Aug. 15:

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.60%, with an average 0.5 point, unchanged from last week’s average. Last year at this time, 30-year rates averaged 4.53%.
  • 15-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.07%, with an average 0.5 point, rising from last week’s 3.05% average. A year ago, 15-year rates averaged 4.01%.
Source: Freddie Mac

Home Loan Interest Rates Inch Up

After three weeks of mostly staying steady, average mortgage rates rose this week. Rates still remain at multiyear lows, keeping borrowing costs low for those shopping for homes this summer.

“Despite this slight increase in rates, home buyers are taking advantage of the multiyear low rates in droves, which is evident in the consistently higher refinance and purchase application volumes. The improvement in housing demand should provide sufficient momentum for the housing market and economy during the rest of the year,” says Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist.

Freddie Mac reported the following national averages for the week ending July 18:

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.81%, with an average 0.6 point, up from last week’s 3.75%. Last year at this time, 30-year rates averaged 4.52%.
  • 15-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.23%, with an average 0.5 point, rising from last week’s 3.22% average. A year ago, 15-year rates averaged 4%.
Source: Freddie Mac

Survey: ‘Senior Housing Demand’

Investors are eyeing senior housing and plan to increase their buying within the sector over the next 12 months, according to the CBRE U.S. Seniors Housing & Care Investor Survey. Sixty-two percent of investors surveyed say they intend to increase the size of their portfolios with elderly living segments over the next year.

“Senior housing demand should remain at relatively healthy levels through 2019, given expected steady economic growth and lower mortgage rates,” says Jeannette Rice, Americas head of multifamily research at CBRE. “Demographic trends are positive for the asset class, with the baby boomers nearing the traditional age for senior housing and nearly 9,000 turning 70 every day this year.”

Source: “Report: Investors Plan to Increase Spending on Senior Housing,” Real Estate Weekly (July 10, 2019)

Interest Rates ‘Lowest Since 2016’

For the seventh time in the last nine weeks, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage dropped, reaching the lowest average since November 2016, Freddie Mac reports in its weekly mortgage market survey.

“Through late June, home purchase applications improved by five percentage points compared to the previous month. In the near term, we expect the housing market to continue to improve from both a sales and price perspective says Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist.”

Freddie Mac reports the following national averages for the week ending June 27:

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.73%, with an average 0.5 point, falling from last week’s 3.84% average. Last year at this time, it’s rates averaged 4.55%
  • 15-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.16%, with an average 0.5 point, falling from last week’s 3.25% average. A year ago, 15-year rates averaged 4.04%.
Source: Freddie Mac

Rates Hold at 2-Year Lows

“Mortgage rates were mostly unchanged from last week due to easing of trade tensions with Mexico, which helped stabilize markets,” says Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist. “These historically low rates should provide continued opportunities for current homeowners to refinance their mortgages—which combined with new home buyer activity—will help sustain the momentum in the housing market in 2019.”

Freddie Mac reports the following national averages for the week ending June 13:

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.82%, with an average 0.6 point, unchanged from last week. Last year at this time, 30-year rates averaged 4.62%.
  • 15-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.26%, with an average 0.5 point, dropping from last week’s 3.28% average. A year ago, rates averaged 4.07%.
Source: Freddie Mac

Loan Rates Back in 3% Territory

For the first time since January 2018, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage has dropped below 4%.

“Lower rates should, however, give a boost to the housing market, which has been on the upswing with both existing- and new-home sales picking up recently,” says Sam Khater, with Freddie Mac.

Freddie Mac reports the following for the week ending May 30:

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgagesaveraged 3.99%, with an average 0.5 point, dropping from last week’s 4.06% average. Last year at this time, 30-year rates averaged 4.56%.
  • 15-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.46%, with an average 0.5 point, dropping from last week’s 3.51% average. A year ago, they averaged 4.06%.
Source: Freddie Mac

Mortgage Rates Continue Decline

“Mortgage rates fell for the fourth consecutive week and continued the medium-term trend of lower rates since late 2018,” says Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist. “The drop in mortgage rates is causing purchase demand to rise, and the mix of demand is skewing to the higher end as more affluent consumers are typically more responsive to declines in rates.”

Freddie Mac reports the following national averages for the week ending May 23:

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 4.06%, with an average 0.5 point, falling from last week’s 4.07% average. Last year at this time, 30-year rates averaged 4.66%.
  • 15-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.51%, with an average 0.4 point, falling from a 3.53% average last week. A year ago, 15-year rates averaged 4.15%.
Source: Freddie Mac

Mortgage Rates ‘Drop This Week’

Mortgage rates are showing signs of moderating this month, following increases in April. Borrowers are discovering much lower rates compared to a year ago.

“A combination of low mortgage rates, a strong job market, and modest wage growth should spur home buyer interest and also serve as an incentive for homeowners looking to refinance this spring,” says Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist.

Freddie Mac reports the following national averages with mortgage rates for the week ending May 9:

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 4.10%, with an average 0.5 point, falling from last week’s 4.14% average. Last year at this time, rates averaged 4.55%.
  • 15-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.57%, with an average 0.4 point, falling from last week’s 3.60% average. A year ago, 15-year rates averaged 4.01%.
Source: Freddie Mac

Home Loan Interest Rates Rise

Mortgage rates have slowly been inching up over the past month, but they remain below their levels a year ago.

“Despite the recent rise in mortgage rates, both existing- and new-home sales continue to show strength—indicating the lagged effect of lower rates on housing demand,” says Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist.

Freddie Mac reports the following national averages for the week ending April 25:

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 4.20 percent, with an average 0.5 point, rising from last week’s 4.17 percent average. Last year at this time, 30-year rates averaged 4.58 percent.
  • 15-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.64 percent, with an average 0.5 point, rising from last week’s 3.62 percent average. A year ago, 15-year rates averaged 4.02 percent.
Source: Freddie Mac