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

Mortage Rates Lowest Since 2016

“There is a tug of war in the financial markets between weaker business sentiment and consumer sentiment,” says Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist. “Business sentiment is declining on negative trade and manufacturing headlines, but consumer sentiment remains buoyed by a strong labor market and low rates that will continue to drive home sales into the fall.”

Freddie Mac reports the following national averages for the week ending Aug. 8:

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.60%, with an average 0.6 point, falling from last week’s 3.75% average. Last year at this time, 30-year rates averaged 4.59%.
  • 15-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.05%, with an average 0.5 point, falling from last week’s 3.20% average. A year ago, 15-year rates averaged 4.05%.
Source: Freddie Mac

Shop Around for a Mortgage

More than a third of home buyers say they did not shop around before selecting their mortgage lender, according to new findings from Fannie Mae’s National Housing Survey. That may mean they’re missing out in thousands of dollars in savings.

Real estate professionals, with family and friends, may be among the most influential sources of advice regarding lender selection, notes Doug Duncan, Fannie Mae’s chief economist, in a new column at Fannie Mae.

We recommend a local lender knowledgeable about the area and offers a variety of loans should be one source. The agent needs to help buyers get a lender with the right type of loan that best fits them and the subject home.

Source: Fannie Mae

Mortgage Rates Stay Low

“Mortgage rates have essentially stabilized over the last two months, which reflects the recovery and improvement in the economy from the malaise earlier in the year,” says Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist. “Going forward, the combination of low mortgage rates, tight labor market, and high consumer confidence should set up the housing market for continued improvement in home sales heading into late summer and early fall.”

Freddie Mac reports the following national averages for the week ending Aug. 1, 2019:

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.75%, with an average 0.6 point, unchanged from last week’s average. Last year at this time, 30-year rates averaged 4.60%.
  • 15-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.20%, with an average 0.5 point, rising from last week’s 3.18% average. A year ago, 15-year rates averaged 4.08%.
Source: Freddie Mac

Fed Just Cut Interest Rates

The Federal Reserve today cut interest rates for the first time since the Great Recession took hold in 2008. The Fed says its decision to lower interest rates a quarter-point , which comes after months of pressure from President Donald Trump, is designed to stave off the threat of an economic downturn.

Lower borrowing costs are helping buyers manage rising home prices. For example, buyers who spend $1,500 on monthly mortgage payments can afford to purchase a $402,500 home this year compared to $367,500 last year, when mortgage rates averaged 4.57%, according to realtor.com®. “Last year, buyers would have needed an additional $145 a month on top of the $1,500 to afford a $402,500 home,” says Danielle Hale, realtor.com®’s chief economist.

Source: “Realtor.com® Reports How Much More Home Buying Power There Is Today Thanks to Lower Mortgage Rates,” Forbes.com (July 30, 2019); “The Fed Just Cut Interest Rates. Here’s What That Means for You,” The New York Times (July 31, 2019); National Association of REALTORS®

Mortgage Rates at 3-Year Lows

After a slight uptick last week, mortgage rates fell back to a more regular pattern of hovering near three-year lows. Home buyers are responding to the lower rates, and mortgage applications for home purchases have continued to rise steadily the last two months to the highest year-over-year change since the fall of 2017, says Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist.

Freddie Mac reported these national averages rates for the week ending July 25:

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.75%, with an average 0.5 point, falling from last week’s 3.81% average. Last year at this time, rates averaged 4.54%.
  • 15-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.18%, with an average 0.5 point, falling from last week’s 3.23% average. A year ago, 15-year rates averaged 4.02%.
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

Rates Stay Near 3-Year Lows

“The recent stabilization mortgage rates reflects modestly improving U.S. economic data and a more accommodative tone from the Federal Reserve to respond to the rising downside economic risk from trade tensions and soft global economic data. On the housing front, the latest weekly purchase applicationdata suggests home buyer demand continues to rise, which is consistent with the slowly improving real estate data from the last two months,” says Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist.

Freddie Mac reports the following national averages for the week ending July 11:

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.75%, with an average 0.5 point, unchanged from last week. Last year at this time, 30-year rates averaged 4.53%.
  • 15-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.22%, with an average 0.5 point, rising from last week’s 3.18% average. A year ago, 15-year rates averaged 4.02%.
Source: Freddie Mac

Rates Hover Near 2-Year Lows

Lower mortgage rates are proving to be a boon for home shoppers.

“While the continued drop in mortgage rates has paused, home buyer demand has not,” says Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist. “This is evident in increased purchase activity and loan amounts, indicating that home buyers still have the willingness and capacity to purchase homes. Today’s low rates, strong job market, solid wage growth, and consumer confidence are typically important drivers of home sales.”

Freddie Mac reports the following national averages for the week ending June 20:

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.84%, with an average 0.5 point, up from last week’s 3.82% average. Last year at this time, 30-year rates averaged 4.57%.
  • 15-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.25%, with an average 0.4 point, falling from last week’s 3.26% average. A year ago, 15-year rates averaged 4.04%.
Source: Freddie Mac