Stacie Hartman

The Mortgage Blog of Stacie Hartman

Record-Low Interest Rates Alone Can’t Spur Demand

As the Federal Reserve wrapped up their purchases of mortgage-backed securities in March, analysts suggested that interest rates would begin to climb once the program ended. Instead, rates have continued to fall. Last week, Freddie Mac said rates for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages had dropped to the lowest level since it began tracking them in 1971. But despite the record lows, demand remains weak. Sales numbers have suffered after the expiration of the popular homebuyer tax credit. And, with tougher lending standards in place, many borrowers that could benefit from refinancing can’t qualify. Credit Suisse estimates that 61 percent of borrowers would be able to lower their rate but only 38 percent of them would qualify. Leif Thomsen, CEO of Mortgage Master, says he’s seen a noticeable drop in demand and expects a slow summer despite the record-low rates. More here and here.

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