Black Knight: Refinanceable Population at 2017 High Point

Black Knight Financial Services, Jacksonville, said while the first quarter was “harsh” for refinance lending, recent rate declines offer potential in the second and third quarters.

The company’s First Look Mortgage Monitor report said rising mortgage interest rates resulted in a 45 percent drop in refinancings in the first quarter. But as interest rates fell below 4 percent again, the refinanceable population rose to 4.4 million borrowers, an increase of 1.6 million borrowers from mid-March and the highest point thus far in 2017.

“At today’s rates, the 4.4 million refi candidates have an aggregate monthly savings potential of $1.1 billion, or $260 per borrower on average,” the report said. “Roughly 2.5 million borrowers could save between $100-$300 per month; nearly 700,000 could save $400 per month or more.”

The report said borrowers who refinanced in the first quarter cut their monthly mortgage payments by an average of $109 for an aggregate savings of $36.5 million per month, down from $59 million in the fourth quarter and the lowest total monthly savings since 2008.