September 2, 2010 (FreeRateUpdate.com) – As mortgage interest rates continue to maintain low levels, refinance demand continues to increase across the nation. According to the Mortgage Banker’s Association, refinances have reached a 15 month high, the highest point since May of 2009. Rates are at the lowest point than any other time since Freddie Mac began keeping track in 1971. Mortgage applications rose for the fourth straight week with refinances accounting for the bulk of the demand. This is due to mortgage interest rates that continue to remain low with the 30 year fixed rate at 4.125% and the 15 years fixed rate at 3.625%.
The current refinance demand is not surprising considering the record low mortgage rates that have continued for the past several weeks. After a slow start, these low mortgage rates are finally spurring home owner interest. Unfortunately, not all home owners can refinance with these historic rates. Those who are underwater due to the depressed housing market and those whose credit has been compromised will not be able to take advantage of the market’s record low interest rates. On the other hand, for others, especially those who have refinanced within the past two years, it is a great time to do it again. In addition, those home owners who currently have adjustable rate mortgages that are about to reset, could benefit from refinancing at this time into a fixed rate mortgage.
The demand for refinances, which has continued to increase each week, could also be a positive sign for the weak economy. The current low mortgage interest rates have made it possible for home owners to refinance into a better interest rate loan or a shorter length loan. Many with higher interest 30 year loans are finding that, at today’s rates, it is in their best interest to refinance into a 15 year mortgage which is, in many circumstances, cheaper. By putting extra cash in consumers hands, they are able to pay off outstanding debts, money can be saved or just put back into the economy through spending. Although it is not certain if this refinance boom will do anything to stimulate the economy, this just might be the boost that the sluggish economy is in need of.
It is anyone’s guess at which way mortgage rates will go from here. If mortgage interest rates maintain these low levels or drop even lower, refinance demand should go up with more home owners deciding to refinance during the fall months just in time for the Holiday season. In the meantime, home owners probably should not wait for rates to go much lower since anything can happen with such a volatile market.