Refinancings outpace new mortgages while rates are at record lows

Refinancings outpace new mortgages while rates are at record lows

Amy Haenner, a broker at Legacy Lending Group in Fort Wayne, Ind., is processing eight mortgages this week. None of them is for home purchases.

A year ago, her business was evenly split between home-purchase loans and refinancings that reduce interest rates on existing mortgages. That’s changed as a slowing U.S. economy curtails buying demand and encourages current owners to save cash by locking in record-low borrowing costs, she said.

“People are deciding to stay in place until the economy turns around,” Haenner said. “That same concern for the economy is causing buyers to take a wait-and-see attitude.”

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