More Borrowers See Mortgage Payoff Possible

June 5, 2012

More borrowers are shortening their mortgage terms, and are considering paying off their mortgage a possible feat. Record low interest rates has allowed more borrowers to refinance their loans from 30 years to 15- or 20-year terms. 

A recent Freddie Mac report shows that 31 percent of recent refinancers shortened their loan terms, which is the second highest level since 2002. 

“Historically low rates and an average three-quarters of a percentage point difference between 30- and 15-year mortgage fixed-rate mortgages are important drivers for moving to a shorter term,” Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac’s chief economist, told The New York Times. 

Fifteen-year fixed-rate mortgages reached a new record low last week, averaging 2.97 percent, according to Freddie Mac’s weekly mortgage market survey. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage also reached a new record low last week, averaging 3.75 percent. 

“People are taking control of their own equity — they’re paying it down quickly,” says Michael McHugh, president of the Empire State Mortgage Bankers Association. 

Source: “Shortening Loan Terms,” The New York Times (June 1, 2012)

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