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Thursday, August 19, 2010

Flight to Safety Benefits Mortgage Holders

This recent flight from stocks into perceived safety in bonds has driven down interest rates recently.  Mortgage applications rose 13% last week driven by a 17% surge in applications to refinance.  Home loan rates (according to sit at 4.53% for a 30 year and 3.95% for a 15 year.  USA today reports that applications to refinance made up 81% of all home loan activity, highest since January 2009.  Overall applications for home purchases slowed 3%.  Another interesting point found in a prior article from this week was the amount of mortgage holders refinancing into 15 year fixed mortgages (here is another from USA today as well).  This is a positive sign as it shows the desire of homeowners to rid themselves of debt sooner.  All of this indicates that homeowners are more interested in keeping their home currently than trying to purchase another.  I would imagine this won't be good for the housing market.  This data is also inline with recent home depot quarterly report which was positive for revenues furthering the argument that mortgage holders are staying put and improving on what they have.

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