24 Million Homeowners Had Mortgage Rates Above 6% Last Year

August 19, 2010 No Comments »

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Interesting tidbit from the Census Bureau’s 2009 American Housing Survey, via Calculated Risk.

Per the forthcoming report, 24.1 million first mortgages had associated interest rates above six percent.

And only 6.2 million first mortgages had rates under five percent, despite mortgage rates currently being at record lows (4.42% for a 30-year fixed).

Nearly 10 million more had interest rates above seven percent, with roughly two million of those above nine percent.

While the number of borrowers with mortgage rates below six percent is sure to rise this year, it still reveals how many borrowers could stand to benefit from a refinance at today’s rates.

Of course, issues like negative equity and tighter underwriting guidelines have proven to be a roadblock for many.

But this explains why many have advocated for a blanket refinance of all Fannie and Freddie-backed loans to give borrowers some much needed breathing room.

The difference in monthly mortgage payment could be significant enough to stave off foreclosure, assuming the homeowner doesn’t mind being underwater for a while.

More data from CalcRisk:

– 76.4 million owner occupied housing units in 2009.
– 24.2 million were owned free and clear (no mortgage). That is 31.7%.
– 26.8 million primary mortgages were originated in 2004 or earlier.
– 12.7 million primary mortgages were originated prior to 2000.

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