Industry NewsMortgage

Surge in refis levels off

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Interest rates on 30-year fixed-rate loans continue to drop into uncharted territory, but a surge in refinancings appears to be leveling off, two surveys of lenders suggest.Rates on 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) loans averaged 5.1 percent with an average 0.7 point for the week ending Dec. 31, down from 5.14 percent last week, Freddie Mac said today in releasing results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey.The 30-year FRM averaged 6.07 percent a year ago, and has never been lower in the 37 years Freddie Mac has been conducting the survey. The survey tracks conventional, conforming loans. Rates on loans too large or too risky for purchase by Freddie Mac are higher.Since the end of October, the 30-year FRM has declined by about 1.33 percentage points, representing savings of approximately $173 a month on a $200,000 loan. As a result, the number of refinance applications for conventional mortgages jumped more than 500 percent between the weeks ending on Oct. 31 and Dec. 26, said Fredd...