The Housing ATM Is Back (And It Won’t Work Any Better This Time)

Authored by Mike Shedlock via MishTalk,

It makes little sense to refi at these rising rates. But here we are.

Refis at 8-Year Lows

With mortgage rates rising, one would expect refi activity to slow. And it has: Refi Applications are at an 8-Year Low.

But why is there any refi activity all at all?

In September 2017 the MND mortgage rate rate was 3.85%. In June 2016, the MND rate was 3.43%.

It makes little sense to refi at 4.70% when one could have done it less than two years ago a point and a quarter lower.

At these rates, refi activity should be in the low single digits. Yet, 36% of mortgage applications are refis.

Housing ATMs

Are people pulling money out of their houses to pay bills?

That’s how it appears, as Cash-Out Mortgage Refis are Back.

What’s Going On?

  1. People feel wealthy again and are willing to blow it on consumption

  2. People pulling money out to invest in stocks or Bitcoin

  3. People are further and further in debt and need to pull out cash to pay the bills

I suspect point number three is the primary reason.

Regardless, releveraging is as wrong now as it was in 2007. Totally wrong.

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