15-year mortgage still a favorite for those refinancing


With mortgage rates on the rise and the volume of refinancing decreasing, the prevalence of 15-year fixed-rate mortgages remained constant last quarter compared with the first quarter of 1999.

Freddie Mac reported that its quarterly refinancing study found the popularity of the 15-year term was unchanged from the first quarter for borrowers holding 30-year mortgages, while it decreased for borrowers with 15- and 20-year terms.

According to the study, 31 percent of borrowers refinancing 30-year mortgages decided to refinance into 15-year loans, while 59 percent stayed with the 30-year, both unchanged from the first quarter of 1999. Additionally, 28 percent refinanced into a 30-year product.

Of borrowers refinancing 15-year fixed-rate mortgages, 67 percent stayed with the same product, 9 percent fewer than in the first quarter.

"With current rates for the 30-year fixed-rate mortgages hovering around 8 percent, most homeowners who were going to refinance for a lower mortgage have already done so," said Vassilis Lekkas of Freddie Mac.

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