Coronavirus spurs refinancing spree as rates sink to 50-year lows

Last week the 30-year mortgage rate fell to a 50-year low of 3.29%

TRD NATIONAL /
Mar.March 11, 2020 03:00 PM
Homeowners are rushing to refinance their homes as mortgage rates sink amid coronavirus concerns (Credit: iStock)

Homeowners are rushing to refinance their homes as mortgage rates sink amid coronavirus concerns (Credit: iStock)

Homeowners are rushing to refinance amid historically low mortgage rates.

The volume of refinance applications grew 79 percent in the first week of March — the highest since the post-recession period, Yahoo Finance reported, citing data from real estate finance trade group the Mortgage Bankers Association. The increase was the largest week-over-week since November 2008, and volume was six times higher than it was during the same week last year.

The surge in refinancing comes as markets are reeling from COVID-19, or coronavirus. Last week, the 30-year mortgage rate fell to a 50-year low of 3.29 percent, and last Monday was the busiest day for mortgage applications in Quicken Loans 35-year history.

“Market uncertainty around the coronavirus led to a considerable drop in U.S. Treasury rates last week,” Joel Kan, MBA’s associate vice president of economic and industry forecasting, said in a press statement. “Homeowners rushed in.”

Freddie Mac will release mortgage rate numbers on Thursday.

Experts predict rates will remain low, or sink even further. The low-rate environment is a mixed blessing for the housing market. While it’s a boon for first-time buyers, low mortgage rates can also discourage homeowners from selling. [Yahoo Finance] — Georgia Kromrei


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