Refinancing borrowers choose fixed-rate loans over ARMS

Freddie MacFreddie Mac announced that in the second quarter of 2009, refinancing borrowers overwhelmingly chose fixed-rate loans, regardless of whether their original loan was an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) or fixed. In fact, ninety-nine percent of prime borrowers who originally had a conforming ARM selected a new conforming fixed-rate mortgage when they refinanced.

While 30-year fixed-rate mortgages still tend to be the preferred loan, more borrowers are choosing 15-year fixed-rate loans than before. “When interest rates hit very low levels for fixed-rate mortgages, borrowers often take tis opportunity to lower their interest rate and shorten their loan term,” said Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist for Freddie Mac. “In April mortgage rates reached new lows for both 15-year and 30-year fixed rate loans. Many borrowers could shorten their loan terms without having a big increase in their mortgage payments, thereby building equity faster, reducing the total interest paid over the life of the loan, and ensuring that their loan is largely paid off by their retirement.”

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