Mortgage rates hit new lows this week for conventional financing with the national average for a 30 year fixed rate mortgage reaching 4.74% APY according to Bankrate.com. The rate is the lowest in the 25 year history of Bankrate’s weekly survey. According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, rates on FHA-insured mortgages averaged 4.71 percent in April 1956. With rates so low (and possibly going lower), is it the right time to see if its possible to lower those monthly mortgage payments for those who own their own homes?
Many mortgage professionals and bankers feel that refinances will accelerate if rates approach 4.5%. Mortgage bankers warn that there are still the traditional closing costs, the risks of an appraisal coming in lower than anticipated and the low rates as advertised not being available based upon a borrower’s credit and their loan-to-value (LTV). The appraisal risk, according to loan officers, is still keeping borrowers on the sidelines in and the high and low end of the income range. Additionally, processing times are increasing with the extension of the home buyer tax credit and reduced capacity within the industry. Regardless of the processing times, if the stock market moves lower in the next 30 days, it’s likely that mortgage rates will approach, if not cross the 4.5% level but will the savings by refinancing pay themselves back in enough time to make refinancing a good option for Boomers and Seniors?