Rate Locks Dip To New Low, Refis Hit Hard

Origination activity continues to sink as the market corrects, with refinances seeing major drops. Black Knight’s October 2022 Originations Market Monitor report found that rate lock dollar volume dropped 14.3% month-over-month to its lowest level since February 2019. Refinances have been hit especially hard, making up just 14% of all origination activity in October. Cash-out refis, which had previously seemed resilient due to widespread equity gains, fell 25.1% from September and are down 83.6% YOY. Rate/term refis sank an additional 15.7% and are now down 92.6% YOY. “With interest rates now at their highest level in 20 years, the refi market is rapidly approaching a bottom,” said Scott Happ, president of Optimal Blue, a division of Black Knight.  “Indeed, our…

Rate Locks Dropped Again In May As Refis Hit New Low

Rate lock volumes dropped again in May by 4.8% despite interest rate growth slowing, according to Black Knight’s latest Originations Market Report. While conforming 30-year rates rose at the beginning of the month to 5.5%, they cooled by month-end to 5.34%, 7 basis points down from April. Still, lock volumes fell for both rate/term and cash-out refis, down 23.6% and 11.9% respectively. Cash-outs are now down 42.2% from last year. “Ultimately, our OBMMI daily interest rate tracker showed 30-year conforming offerings finishing the month at 5.34%, down 7 basis points from last month. Still, despite this plateau in rates, rate lock volume continued to slide in May, with declines seen across all loan purposes,” said Scott Happ, president of Optimal…

Rate Lock Activity Rose In March

Rate lock activity rose in March as homeowners move before rates rise further, according to Black Knight’s latest Originations Market Monitor report. Mortgage rates exceeded 4.9% in March but dropped at the end of the month to 4.79%. The spread between mortgage rates and 10-year Treasuries climbed 20 basis points. “Mortgage interest rates spiked in March, with 30-year offerings climbing 70 basis points over the course of the month,” said Scott Happ, president, Optimal Blue, a division of Black Knight.  “And yet, despite seeing the fastest one-month rise in rates in nearly 13 years, we saw purchase lock volumes increase by 31% from February – likely as prospective buyers moved to lock in their loans before rates climbed any higher.”…

Mortgage Rates Up To 3.92%

Mortgage rates jumped to 3.92% from 3.69% this week, Freddie Mac reported Thursday. Freddie’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey (PMMS) found that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 3.96%. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 2.81%. “Mortgage rates jumped again due to high inflation and stronger than expected consumer spending,” said Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s Chief Economist.  “The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is nearing four percent, reaching highs we have not seen since May 2019. As rates and house prices rise, affordability has become a substantial hurdle for potential homebuyers, especially as inflation threatens to place a strain on consumer budgets.” Demand remains high despite rising rates. Rate locks for purchase loans increased 19.9% month-over-month in January. “The…

Purchase, Cash-Out Rate Locks Rose In January

Overall rate locks rose 9.5% month-over-month in January, with a 19.9% increase for purchase loans and a 9.2% increase for cash-outs, Black Knight reported in its Originations Market Monitor. Rate/term refinance locks dropped for the fifth month straight, down 16.5% to its lowest level since May 2019. It is an 80% decline YOY. The refinance share of January originations fell to 43%, its lowest since July 2019. “With some $10 trillion in homeowner tappable equity in the market, it makes sense that we’d see cash-out refinance locks on the rise,” Happ said.  “The significant jump in purchase originations can likely be attributed in part to typical pent-up, post-holiday demand. It could also represent skittish homebuyers hoping to lock in a…

Rate/Term Refinances Reach Lowest Point Since February 2020

Rate lock volume fell 4.7% month-over-month in November, Black Knight’s latest Originations Market Monitor report found. It is the third straight month of overall declines. The drop was driven by rate/term refinance originations, which fell 9.4% from October and almost 65% year-over-year (YOY), its lowest level since February 2020. Rate/term refinance dropped in eight out of eleven months in 2021. Locks on purchase and cash-out refinance fell 3.9% and 2.5% from October, respectively. However, they are still higher than 2020, with purchase locks up 13% YOY and cash-outs up 36% YOY. “While 30-year rates ended November relatively flat from where they were at the start of the month, there was some volatility in rate offerings throughout the month,” said Black…