A 40-plus basis point rise in mortgage rates over the past month resulted in approximately 7 million high-quality refi candidates who are no longer able to lock “forever rates,” according to a recent report from Black Knight. In February the mortgage data and analytics provider estimated there were 18.1 million borrowers who met broad-based underwriting criteria and could save at least 0.75% on their rate through a refi. That was back when rates were as low as 2.73%, which some coined “forever rates” because it is unlikely they’ll be as low again for decades.
But on the news that mortgage rates jumped, Black Knight reported that there are now just 11.1 million “high quality” refi candidates. That is the smallest number of potential refi candidates in a year. For Black Knight, these candidates are defined as a 30-year mortgage holder with a maximum 80% loan-to-value ratio and credit scores of 720 or higher. Lenders need the stars to align on some of the dwindling number of candidates. But if they do, the average homeowner could potentially save almost $300 a month through a refinance. Roughly 2 million of these candidates could save over $400 a month, while another 1.2 million could save upwards of $745 each month, Black Knight said.