According to ATTOM Data Solutions' just released Q2 2020 U.S. Residential Property Mortgage Origination Report, there were 1.69 million refinance mortgages secured by residential properties (1 to 4 units) in Q2 2020. The report revealed that number is up almost 50 percent from Q1 2020 and more than 100 percent from Q2 2019, to the highest level in seven years. ATTOM's most recent residential mortgage origination analysis reported that with interest rates hovering at historic lows of around 3 percent for a 30-year fixed-rate loan, refinance mortgages originated Q2 2020 represented an estimated $513 billion in total dollar volume. That number was up 130 percent Q2 2019, to the highest point in almost 17 years. The report noted that refinance loans helped drive the total number of home loans in Q2 2020 up to 2.72 million, an 11-year high.
So you want to refinance, but mortgage rates are rising. Don't worry -- you haven't missed the boat on your refi opportunity. Mortgage rates are still historically low, and they aren't expected to exceed 5% in 2017, according to many economists and mortgage analysts. Even though rates aren't expected to shoot through the roof this year, they'll likely stay on a steady, upward trajectory. "If you're thinking about refinancing, now probably is the time to do it," says Lauren Lyons Cole, a certified financial planner and money editor at Consumer Reports, adding that rates are probably not going to be lower than they are right now.
The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index increased 7 percent from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index decreased 1 percent compared with the previous week and was 5 percent lower than the same week one year ago, which did not include the Presidents' Day holiday. The first graph shows the refinance index since 1990. It would take a substantial decrease in mortgage rates to see a significant increase in refinance activity. The second graph shows the MBA mortgage purchase index.
Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates slid this week to their lowest level since February 2015, luring prospective purchasers during the spring home-buying season. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac says the average rate on a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage fell to 3.59 percent from 3.71 percent last week. The benchmark rate was far below the 3.66 percent level it marked a year ago. The average rate on 15-year fixed-rate mortgages declined to 2.88 percent from 2.98 percent last week. A recent speech by Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen reaffirmed the Fed's plans to move slowly in raising the interest rates it controls.