Don’t worry about rates and don’t rely on refi, says vet

by Justin da Rosa10 Mar 2016
Mortgage rates may be up but there is no reason to panic, according to one industry veteran
“I think it’s the typical ebb and flow of the market; they aren’t predestined to go up or down,” David Lichtman, president of DML Mortgage, told Mortgage Professional America. “My belief is that it will continue to ebb and flow; it’s too hard to determine which direction rates will go” Lichtman said, noting there will be more clarity following the Fed’s next policy meeting.”

Mortgage rates increased across the board last week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s most recent weekly survey.

The average rate for a 30-year fixed-rate conforming loan mortgage increased to 3.89% from 3.83% week-over-week for the week ending March 4.

The average interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate for jumbo loans increased to 3.81% from 3.75%.
Meanwhile, the average 30-year fixed-rate for FHA-backed loans increased to 3.71% from 3.67%; the average 15-year fixed-rate mortgage increased to 3.14% from 3.13%.

The largest hike, however, was for 5/1 ARMs.

“The average contract interest rate for 5/1 ARMs increased to 3.20 percent from 3.02 percent, with points increasing to 0.32 from 0.31 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans.  The effective rate increased from last week,” the MBA said in a statement.

The same study found that refinance activity decreased to 56.7% to 58.6%. However, brokers shouldn’t worry too much about that, according to Lichtman.

“I think it’s risky to depend on refis,” he said. We look at refi business as gravy; I say we should focus on the meat and potatoes of the business -- purchases.”

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