Mortgage

Mortgage rates are at an all-time low. Here’s how the biggest lenders are handling it

Lenders share insight on what’s happening at ground level

House percent HW plus content

Freddie Mac’s mortgage rate report, considered to be the gold standard in the mortgage industry, goes back nearly 50 years. And in that half century, mortgage rates have never been as low as they are right now.

Freddie’s latest report, which came out Thursday morning, shows that mortgage rates are now at 3.29%. The previous low was 3.31% in November 2012.

The drop to record lows tracks with what several lenders told HousingWire last week: that borrowers were getting lower interest rates than they’ve ever seen before.

But in the last week, coronavirus fears caused bond investors to seek the safety of U.S. mortgages and other financial instruments, leading mortgage rates to drop even further.

Now, rates are below 3.3%, a level that’s never been seen before. And mortgage companies across the country are experiencing a surge in mortgage demand unlike any they’ve ever seen before.

HousingWire spoke with nearly a dozen lenders this week, including many of the biggest lenders in the country, and nearly all said that they’ve never seen a lending environment like the one that’s happening right now.

That’s definitely the case at the nation’s largest lender, Quicken Loans.

“We’re breaking records every day right now. We are right there or below our all-time lows in interest rates. Our volumes are spiking. Our refinance volume is spiking rapidly. It’s incredibly busy. It’s going well,” Quicken Loans President and Chief Operating Officer Bob Walters said.

Several lenders suggested that some of their competitors may face capacity issues in the current interest rate environment, where lenders may not be able to handle all the loan volume they’re seeing and may be forced to keep rates slightly higher to stem the rush.

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