Freddie Mac this week released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey (PMMS), showing that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 2.86%, the lowest rate in its survey’s history, which dates back to 1971.
The company says there are now 19.3 million “high quality” refinance candidates, the largest number ever. This is 43 percent of all active 30-year mortgages. Black Knight defines a refinanceable loan as one where the homeowner has a credit score of at least 720, at least 20 percent equity in the home, and the potential for a 75-basis point reduction in their mortgage interest rate. These homeowners have potential savings averaging $299 per month, a national aggregate of $5.8 billion per month if all homeowners took advantage of the opportunity. That is the largest aggregate ever available through refinancing.
Many of those homeowners could realize even larger savings, 7 million could save at least $300 per month and nearly 2.5 million could save $500 or more.
Federal Reserve leaders predict that unemployment will fall to 7.6 percent by the end of this year, and to 5.5 percent by the end of 2021, even as much about the path of the virus and its influence over the economic recovery remain unknown.
As the Fed concluded two days of policy meetings on Wednesday, the projections suggest Fed leaders are growing more optimistic about the recovery than they were earlier this summer. By 2023, policymakers’ projections put the unemployment rate at 4 percent.
At the same time, Fed officials signaled the benchmark interest rate could stay at or near zero through 2023.
One of the few bright spots for home buyers and owners in 2020—a year marred by a pandemic, economic recession, social unrest, wildfires, hurricanes, and a highly polarized presidential election—has been rock-bottom mortgage interest rates.
Mortgage rates have been tumbling since COVID-19 disrupted the nation’s economy, achieving what many experts had believed was impossible: They dipped just below 3% in July. Rates have since fallen even further, reaching an all-time low of 2.86% for the average 30-year fixed-rate loan in the week ending Sept. 10, according to Freddie Mac. They ticked up to 2.87% in the week ending Sept. 17.
With mortgage rates hitting record lows, it can be tempting to consider a 15-year-mortgage instead of one spanning 30 years.
The draw: The interest rates for 15-year loans are lower, currently 2.65% versus 3.03% for a 30-year, according to Bankrate.com. Combined with a shorter timeline, you’ll pay substantially less in interest overall, build equity faster, and be debt-free sooner. But there’s a catch: Your monthly payments will be much bigger than with a 30-year mortgage.
A herd of 200-some goats can eat an acre of dry undergrowth in something like a day and a half.
Forest ecologists and wildfire experts have pointed to excess vegetation and undergrowth, often near power lines or among standing timber, as a key potential fuel source for catastrophic wildfires. Removing or reducing those fuels is seen as one way to help reduce the risk or at least minimize the potential spread. In some places, that means goats.
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