$36,176 in Savings Possible for Refinance Borrowers From Shopping Around
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LendingTree shows borrowers how to fight rising rates by getting competing offers from lenders.
- Homebuyers could have seen median lifetime savings of $30,473 in interest on a $300,000 loan by comparison shopping for the best mortgage rates last week.
- Refinance savings of $36,176 were the most since we started tracking the data in 2013.
- The Mortgage Rate Competition Index measures the median spread between the highest and lowest APR available on the LendingTree platform.
June 12, 2018 — Charlotte, N.C.
We calculate the Mortgage Rate Competition Index weekly as the median spread between the lowest and highest APRs offered by lenders in our marketplace. By calculating this spread, we hope to show consumers how much they stand to save by comparing rates during the lending shopping process.
- Across all purchase loan applications on LendingTree for the week ending June 10, 2018, the index was 0.65, unchanged from the previous week.
- How big of a deal is it to get a mortgage rate that’s 0.65% lower than the competition? Over 30 years, that could translate to $30,473 in savings on a $300,000 loan — 10% of the total loan amount (see Mortgage Savings Tracker graphic below).
- The index was wider than the purchase market in the refinance market at 0.77, up 0.02 from the prior week and the widest on record.
- Using the same assumptions in the previous example, borrowers shopping for refi loans could have saved $36,176 by shopping for the lowest rate.
- Average savings in 2018 are outpacing 2017 savings, up to $28,000 from $21,000 for purchase mortgages. Refinance loan savings are up to $31,000 from $26,000.
- The Mortgage Rate Competition has widened as rates increased, reflecting how mortgage lenders have unique business circumstances that impact how they change the rates at which they can offer consumers loans.
Mortgage Savings Tracker
Mortgage Rate Competition Index
Fed rate hike due this week
The FOMC is expected to announce a 25 bps hike in the Fed funds rate as it proceeds with policy normalization in light of an economy that is showing signs of continued growth. The Fed move is widely anticipated and markets should take it in stride. The rate announcement will be followed by a press conference that may generate some news, though expectations for this are minimal.
Market moving news could emanate from the summit with North Korea in Singapore. The lack of a reaction to President Trump’s Twitter tantrum following the G-7 shows that markets are becoming increasingly dismissive of the president’s actions, however, the risks remain. A perceived escalation in geopolitical risk could result in lowering interest rates as occurred in mid-May around the Italian elections.
Declining mortgage application volumes are supporting the Mortgage Rate Competition Index as lenders fight for volume. This is particularly apparent in the refinance market where the MBA Applications Index is at its lowest since December 2000.
Low inventories pushing prices higher is the theme of this year’s housing market. Supply problems are particularly acute for lower priced homes. Sales for homes under $100,000 were down 13% Y/Y in April, and those between $100,000 and $250,000 were down 1% Y/Y. Rising rates have yet to temper demand, which is supported by a robust labor market, thus buyers should do all they can to position themselves competitively. Getting financing in place ahead of the house hunt is crucial, and we strongly advise buyers compare multiple loan offers first.
About the Mortgage Rate Competition Index
The LendingTree Mortgage Rate Competition Index is a new proprietary measure of the dispersion in mortgage pricing. It measures the spread in the APR of the best offers available on LendingTree relative to the least competitive (i.e. the highest) rates. Our research shows that mortgage rate competition varies with the financial and operational measures of activity in the mortgage markets. More details on the index are available in a white paper on LendingTree’s website.
How the index is formulated
A mortgage shopper enters their information on LendingTree.com. They input loan variables, including the proposed amount and down payment, and property variables, including property type and location. Using our proprietary algorithm, LendingTree matches borrowers with lenders based on the criteria they provided. Interested lenders return a rate and fee offer. For our index, we combine the rate and fees into an APR and calculate the spread as follows:
The spread is the difference between the highest and lowest offers, in this example, 4.62-4.21 = 0.41. We repeat this calculation across 30-year loans that week and then find the median of the individual spread, which is our index value for that week. This is done separately for the population of purchase and refinance loan requests.