Top Markets Where Owners Are Most Eager to Lower Mortgage Payments
March 27, 2020
As mortgage rates hover near historical lows, homeowners have eyed taking advantage of them to lower their monthly payments. Refinancing dollar volume was up a whopping 138% in the fourth quarter of 2019 compared to a year ago and was at the highest level since the first quarter of 2013, according to a new report from ATTOM Data Solutions, a real estate research firm. That report also was before mortgage rates took a record-breaking dip at the beginning of March, when Freddie Mac reported the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.29%.
High-cost metros such as Los Angeles, New York, and Boston are among those seeing some of the largest upticks in residential refinancing applications. By percentage increase, Los Angeles saw one of the largest increases with refinancing applications, up 158.8% annually, followed by Chicago, up 144.5% annually.
“The fourth quarter was a banner period for residential mortgages across the Untied States, as declining interest rates and a strong economy helped spur more than 2 million borrowers to sign on for new or refinanced loans,” says Todd Teta, chief product officer at ATTOM Data Solutions. “Refinancing largely drove the trend, with more than twice as many homeowners trading in high-interest mortgages for cheaper ones than in the same period of 2018. These trends could all change when the economic fallout from the coronavirus outbreak hits. But the last few months of 2019 saw a burst of lending activity not seen in the U.S. housing market for several years.”
Also, while many homeowners sit on records amounts of home equity, they aren’t drawing from it much yet. A total of 307,180 home equity lines of credit were originated on residential properties in the fourth quarter of 2019, down 5.5% from a year earlier.
“Residential Refinance Mortgages More Than Double in Fourth Quarter of 2019,” ATTOM Data Solutions (March 19, 2020) and “Top Metros With Greatest Annual Increases in Number of REFIs,” ATTOM Data Solutions (March 20, 2020)
Updated: June 04, 2020