A year ago, New Jersey contractor Michael Mroz’s customers were focused on saving money when renovating kitchens and baths, he said. Now, with a resurgence of home equity lending, they’re ready to pay for the best.
Ben Bernanke and the Federal Reserve have pretty much signaled last call at the Bar of Insanely Low Mortgage Rates. With the Fed now on record that it may begin to reduce its bond-purchasing program by the end of this year -- suggesting the beginning of the end of repressed rate -- the interest rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage hit 4.25 percent on June 20. As recently as early May that same rate was at 3.5 percent.
Raj Date helped write new rules for U.S. mortgage underwriting as deputy director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Now he’s building a company that will offer loans to borrowers blocked by the agency’s standards.
The biggest U.S. mortgage lenders, whose first-quarter earnings were buoyed by gains on home-loan refinancings, are raking in more profits as record-low interest rates and government efforts prolong the boom.