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Refi candidate population sheds 2 million after rate uptick

So much for the largest "refinanceable" population on record.

Recently, the smallest changes in mortgage rates have had significant effects on the number of “refinanceable” borrowers, defined by real estate analytics company Black Knight as the number of borrowers who could likely qualify for a refinance and save at least 75 basis points off their current loan by doing so.

Last week, Freddie Mac’s mortgage rate fell to 3.49%, pushing the number of high-quality refinance candidates to 11.7 million, the largest since Black Knight began keeping track. But with Freddie’s 30-year average rate nudging upward to 3.56% this week, that group was trimmed by nearly 2 million. Black Knight now estimates there are 9.8 million borrowers in strong position to refinance.

As Black Knight public relations director Mitch Cohen put it, “ever-so-slight rate movements giveth and ever-so-slight rate movements taketh away.”

By refinancing, those 9.8 million refi candidates could save an average of $269 a month, or an aggregate monthly principal and interest savings of $2.6 billion.

Black Knight noted that, disregarding eligibility criteria such as a maximum loan-to-value ratio of 80% or a credit score of at least 720, there are 21.2 million mortgage holders who could save 75 basis points with a refinance.


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