Temptingly low mortgage interest rates have been enticing more borrowers to refinance their home loans -- so many, in fact, that closings are taking longer to complete, reports LendingTree, an online mortgage marketplace.
“In the most recent LendingTree Lender Marketplace Survey, 64 percent of lenders surveyed said they’ve experienced increased closing times for refinance loans due to the rush of refinancers,” says Doug Lebda, LendingTree chairman and chief executive.
Local real estate attorney Neil Garfinkle has seen a similar trend. “The lower interest rates have caused a very significant uptick in refinancing activity,” says Garfinkel, whose law firm has offices in Great Neck and Manhattan. “Due to the volume, the time from the issuance of a loan commitment to the time of the closing has increased in many instances.”
Lebda advises borrowers to take the longer closing times into account rather than try to time the market because “continued hesitation could mean missed savings opportunities for borrowers.”
Freddie Mac reported Thursday that mortgage rates are still hanging around near their 60-year lows. The average rate offered for a 30-year fixed home loan was 4.10 percent with an average 0.8 point, down from last week when it averaged 4.11 percent. Last year at this time, the average was 4.23 percent. For a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage, the average rate was 3.38 percent with an average 0.7 point, the same as last week when it averaged 3.38 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.66 percent.