The biggest one-day decline in mortgage rates in 7 years set off a frenzy of refinancing yesterday, as homeowners who'd been waiting for a bargain jumped into the market. The nearly one-point decline was prompted by the Fed's $600 billion commitment to buy mortgage-backed securities, reports Bloomberg. "It's the folks who have been sitting on the sideline,” said a Bank of America exec. “They're jumping in with this news."
Economists praised the Fed’s move, which helped drop the average 30-year mortgage rate from 6.38% to about 5.5%, one saying it "may hasten the day when we finally find a bottom in housing.” Some brokers told the Wall Street Journal it was the most activity they've seen in a year. To qualify for lower rates, consumers will need a credit rating above 720 points and have at least 20% equity in their homes.