A sharp drop in interest rates last week suddenly made millions more borrowers eligible to refinance their mortgages.
At a $ 300,000 mortgage refinance from 4.81 percent to 4.06 percent would save the home around $ 1 33 per month On a $ 600,000 loan, it will be twice as much as savings, or $ 267 per month.
Of course, it is important to factor in closing costs, which will be written off over the length of the loan. For someone who does not intend to stay home for more than a couple of years, refinancing cannot save them much.
The dramatic interest rate cut has definitely attracted consumers, especially since it was the biggest week's decline in a decade. In November last year, the frequency was just over 5 percent.
"Our call volume has definitely crossed," said Matt Weaver, a loan originator at Cross Country Mortgage in Boca Raton, Florida. "We are serving the calls coming in, but we are also coming out."
Lenders lost a lot of refinancing activity over the past two years when prices were crossed higher. The average interest rate on the 30s fell to just under 3.5 per cent in the summer of 2016. It then jumped a little, but has never hit anything near the low side. The refinance volume fell off a cliff, and several lenders had to reduce for lack of business.
With prices coming down, borrowers can't just save money through a refinancing, but several borrowers are likely to be eligible.
Reviews have been a problem in the housing market for buyers and refinance. House prices inflated so quickly that some reviews did not hold up. Now house prices are cooling, it's so rare.
At the back, as house prices deflate, borrowers lose home equity. For those homeowners who seek a "cash-out" financing, the amount they are knocking on may decrease. While some borrowers refinance their loans only to save on the monthly payment, others are refinanced for a larger loan to get cash in hand. The so-called tappable equity, which is the amount available to a borrower before reaching the required minimum share of 20 percent in a home, fell in the second quarter of 2018, according to Black Knight.
Having reached a high of $ 6.06 trillion in the second quarter of 2018, tappable equity has since fallen by $ 348 billion, and by $ 229 billion in the fourth quarter alone. This led to a sharp decline last year in the amount of equity owners paid out, either through first mortgage loans or other home loans. With prices now lower, it can change.
"Last-time interest rates were at this level, withdrawal of withdrawals as a share of available equity was over 25 per cent above where they were in Q4 2018, which indicates that we could see a noticeable rebound in homeowners tapping available equity via cash-out refis in the coming months provided increased rate incentive to do so, says Ben Graboske, CEO of Data and Analytics at Black Knight.
CNBC Producer Lisa Rizzolo contributed to this report.