US lenders are facing a challenge to keep up with demand

by Steve Randall13 Mar 2020

With mortgage rates at historic lows, US mortgage lenders are working hard to handle the increased volume of loans required, especially amid a surge in refinancing.

Freddie Mac says that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 3.36% (with an average 0.7 point) Thursday, up slightly from the 3.29% of a week earlier but down from 4.31% a year ago.

“As refinance applications continue to surge and lenders work to manage capacity, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage ticked up from last week’s all-time low,” said Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s Chief Economist. “Mortgage rates remain at extraordinary levels and many homeowners are smartly weighing their options to refinance, potentially saving themselves money.”

For 15-year FRMs, the average rate was 2.77% (with an average 0.7 point), down from 2.79% a week earlier and down from 3.76% a year ago.

For 5-year adjustable-rate mortgages, the average rate was 3.01% (with an average 0.2 point), down from last week’s average of 3.18% and down from 3.84% a year ago.

Last week, Anthony Hsieh, CEO of lending marketplace loanDepot, suggested that the biggest refinance rally in history may outpace the production capacity of the US home lending industry.

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