South Florida is enjoying a refinancing boom just as mortgage rates jumped this week -- average 30-year, fixed-rate loans increased to 3.55 percent.
The hike from last week's average of 3.49 percent broke a recent run of mortgage rates falling weekly to new historic lows, Freddie Mac reported Thursday. "Before this week, the average rate on the 30-year fixed had fallen to or matched record-low levels in 13 of the past 14 weeks," Freddie Mac spokesman Chad Wandler said.
Average interest rates on 15-year, fixed-rate mortgages also rose to 2.83 percent this week after being at 2.8 percent the week before, Freddie Mac reported.
But don't worry that this week's jump means the start of a sharp increase in rates: South Florida lenders expect mortgage rates to stay near historic lows until at least the end of the year.
"The Federal Reserve just announced it will do anything to help the economy" -- and that means low interest rates, said Jim Flood, regional manager at Supreme Lending in Plantation.
"In my opinion, it's just going to be fairly flat," said Doug Leever, mortgage sales manager at Miramar-based Tropical Financial Credit Union. "Rising more than a quarter or half a point -- I don't see that happening."
The recent drop to historic lows has prompted many South Floridians to try to refinance their existing home loans. Refinancing accounted for 77.5 percent of all Florida mortgage applications in June, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association reported.
Many South Floridians are inquiring about 15-year loans to take advantage of below 3 percent rates, said Adam Cohn, a Boca Raton senior mortgage banker.
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