Fixed-rate mortgages dominate refinancing space in 2Q
Borrowers refinancing mortgages in the second quarter of 2011 overwhelmingly chose fixed-rate mortgages, with 95% taking that route, Freddie Mac said Monday. Homeowners went with the fixed-rate mortgage whether they had a fixed-rate loan before or an adjustable-rate contract, Freddie Mac concluded in its Quarterly Product Transition Report. In addition to selecting fixed-rate contracts, more refinancing borrowers shortened their loan terms, with 37% choosing a 15- or 20-year loan, the highest rate to select these alternatives in 8 years. 55% of refi borrowers who previously had a hybrid ARM selected a fixed-rate loan during the second quarter. Overall, the share deciding to refinance from hybrid ARM-to-hybrid ARM reached its highest level in seven years. "Fixed mortgage rates averaged 4.65% for 30-year loans and 3.84% for 15-year product during the second quarter in Freddie Mac's Primary Mortgage Market Survey, well below long-term averages," said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac's vice president and chief economist. He added, "The Bureau of Economic Analysis has estimated the average coupon on single-family loans was about 5.3 percent during the second quarter of 2011. It's no wonder we continue to see strong refinance activity into fixed-rate loans." Write to: Kerri Panchuk.