Key mortgage rate rises slightly above record low

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Mortgage rates edged up from a record low this week. The benchmark 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rose 1 basis point to 3.11 percent from a week earlier, according to Bankrate’s weekly survey of large lenders.

“Even with some movement in the stock market and some vaccine headlines, the bond market has been stable and in a tight range. The economic data has been holding up well considering what has happened in 2020. We still don’t have a full disaster relief deal, but if we get some clarity on that, it should move the bond market,” said Logan Mohtashami,a housing analyst at HousingWire, Irvine, California.

With interest rates falling as the coronavirus pandemic escalated, the second quarter saw record-breaking mortgage-related transactions, according to data analytics firm Black Knight.

The firm reported a 60 percent increase in mortgage originations over the first quarter of 2020, and a 200 percent increase over the second quarter of 2019.

The refinancing segment of the mortgage market saw even more activity in the second quarter, with more than 2.3 million originations. That’s four times more refinances than the second quarter of 2019, and a 17-year high for that metric.

“Despite the nation being under pandemic-related lockdowns for much of the quarter, a record-breaking surge in mortgage originations occurred in Q2 2020, driven by the record-low interest rate environment,” Black Knight Data & Analytics president Ben Graboske said in a statement. “Nearly $1.1 trillion in first lien mortgages were originated in Q2 2020, which is the largest quarterly origination volume we’ve seen since first reporting on the metric in January 2000.”

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Written by
Jeff Ostrowski
Senior mortgage reporter
Jeff Ostrowski covers mortgages and the housing market. Before joining Bankrate in 2020, he wrote about real estate and the economy for the Palm Beach Post and the South Florida Business Journal.
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