This was supposed to be the time when mortgage rates were climbing over five percent. All anyone was talking about going into 2019 was how the higher rates were going to put a wrench in the market. And now, halfway through the year, rates have dropped to a two-year low and, not surprisingly, refinances are soaring.
“Mortgage applications surged an impressive 26.8% WoW—the largest jump since Jan 2015—led by a massive spike in refis as mortgage rates tumbled alongside the Treasury market. 30-year rates “dropped back below 4.00%—the lowest since Jan 2018,” said Zerohedge.
So what’s all the hubbub about? There are a few other key pieces of data at play:
• Refinances jumped 47% for the week last week and and are up 97% for the year.
• Mortgage volume rose by 41% over the same week a year ago.
• Real estate purchases also rose, by 10%.
In fact, for the week of June 13, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is averaging 3.82%. “Nearly halfway through the year, the popular product has managed a weekly increase only six times,” said MarketWatch. “It now stands at about a two-year low. The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.26%, down from 3.28%. The 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage averaged 3.51%, down 1 basis point.”
That has led to a cavalcade of refinances by savvy homeowners and investors who are paying attention to the market and falling rates—and/or who have a good lender who’s reaching out to customers when they have a unique chance to save some money.
“Consumers saw an opportunity…and took it — in a big way,” said CNBC. “Will rates stay this low or move even lower? Impossible to predict, but there are definite signals.” Matthew Graham, chief operating officer of Mortgage News Daily, told them, “We’re in a consolidation phase now where markets are coming to terms with the longer-term move lower that began in late 2018. The next move will depend on how economic data evolves and whether there are any more trade policy bombshells.”
The Federal reserve was expected to raise interest rates several times this year, and many experts thought mortgage rates would follow. “Markets and some analysts now predict that the Federal Reserve will cut interest rates this year,” said MarketWatch. In addition, “Demand for home loans has been so robust that mortgage lender profit margins turned positive for the first time in nearly three years.”