Black Knight Financial Services, Inc. (BKFS) released new data showing that mortgage loan originations have decreased by 34 percent in the first quarter. The slow activity was led by refinance lending, with a 45 percent decline on a quarter-over-quarter comparison.
Executive Vice President of BKFS Data & Analytics, Ben Graboske, explained that the decline in activity has been due to the steady rise in interest rates. “Overall, first-lien mortgage originations fell by 34 percent in the first quarter of 2017,” he said. Graboske added, “As expected, the decline was most pronounced in the refinance market, which saw a 45 percent decline from Q4 2016 and was down 20 percent from last year.”
Is It still a good time to refinance?
For 30-year fixed rate loans, current interest rates hover just above the 4 percent mark. That is a bit less than 1 percent from the recorded low average (at 3.50 percent on December 5, 2012).
To some, it still is a good time to refinance their loans. Those who will refinance now, however, will be paying a little bit more than those who chose to refinance at this time last year.
When is the good time to refinance?
When it brings down your interest rate. It is strategically good to refinance if it brings your interest rate down by 2 percent or more.
Refinancing to lower your interest will help you make affordable monthly payments. Aside from that, it will help you build home equity quicker.
When it shortens the present term. Even if you are already comfortable with your monthly payments, you can still have a reason to refinance. Refinancing to a shorter loan term will mean that you are going to be debt-free sooner.
Refinancing takes careful planning. It can help you achieve financial stability, but a wrong move can also send you spiraling down into more debt. Carefully study your situation. Also, learn more about the housing market’s current standing. If the numbers confuse you, ask clarifications and help from a lender. This will help you make a sound financial decision with realistic expectations.