Mortgage Rates Fall To Record Lows. Does It Make Sense To Refinance?
Many people across the country have been calling up mortgage companies this week. There many people asking for refinancing of their home loans. That's because mortgage rates have been hitting record lows. Npr's Chris Arnold been following all this and it's on the line. Hi There Chris a Steve. What's causing the drop in interest rates? Well stocks of course have been falling over fears about the krona virus. And that is that people are buying treasury bonds. It's like a flight to safety. Because Treasury safer investment and the Fed has also been cutting rates and all that is leading to the lowest mortgage rates on record over the past fifty years and how many people are trying to take advantage. Well we're seeing a very big jump that Last year I think it was three times the normal rate of mortgage applications and people are calling because they can save hundreds or thousands of dollars what we talked to Jay Farner. He's the CEO of quicken loans. In the last week we've probably had three record days. Yesterday was again a new record for mortgage applications. It really is one of those once in a lifetime opportunities. I I'm not certain while see rates likeness again. Ed this is maybe like the one silver lining in all these dark clouds around the economy. Because of this very scary corona virus and it's having this effect of lower rates so a lot of homeowners can save money refinancing. You can save money. Buying a house to all of that helps regular people and it helps out the the the the broader economy. I guess if you're running the Fed You're happy about this. This is why you've been cutting interest rates. You want to encourage economic activity in moment when a lot of economic activities seem to be disrupted in some ways. But how do individual homeowners know that? It's worth refinancing given that it ain't free right. Well I mean by definition mortgage rates are at record lows. That means anybody with a house has a rate that's higher than the rates. You can get today with the question is. Is it a big enough drop to make it worth it if you refinanced? So I talked to Mike Fratton Tony. He's the chief economist. The Mortgage Bankers Association. He worked up this estimate based on rates from last week. More than eighty percent of all homeowners with the mortgage could have benefited from refinancing. They could have saved at least half a percent in terms of the rate on their mortgage and then given that rates have fallen even faster. This week you know that just means that the vast majority of all homeowners at this point likely would benefit from refinancing and Steve is to put some numbers around this. If you can drop your rate by one percentage point that doesn't sound like much one percent but that going to be very big effect if you have good credit a year ago rates on a thirty year fixed rate loan were four and a half percent now there around three and a half percent so on a three hundred thousand dollar mortgage that changed that one percent change can save you two thousand dollars a year in mortgage payments. Some people could save a lot more so this can mean a lot of extra money in people's pockets any other factors that people should think about. Yes for sure I mean. One thing is Shop around two or three lenders right now because of all the turmoil in the markets. That's really important. You get a better deal if you shop around Next thing is the fees. Make sure that they're worth it and a lot of people don't understand this last one. I if you've been paying your loan for a long time. It's often not so good to go back and start over with a thirty year loan. Now you'RE GONNA pay a lot more interest so you can get twenty five twenty fifteen years even better. Those are better options. And when you say fees that can be several thousand dollars for refinancing Yes yes definitely pay attention Chris. Thanks so much thanks