Orlando refinancing sees boom as rates start to rise

Higher interest rates Metro Orlando

Higher interest rates in the fourth quarter appear to have fueled demand for refinancing mortgages while new mortgages declined in Metro Orlando, according to a new report by Attom Data Solutions.

Even though Orlando-area mortgages for home purchases were down 12 percent for a one-year period ending in the fourth quarter,  the volume of refinanced mortgages in the region increased 41 percent during that same time, the analytics firm reported.

“Homeowners realized they had better lock in as low a rate as possible, while they can,” said Daren Blomquist, senior vice president at Attom Data Solutions.

The refi surge might be both investors and traditional all homeowners attempting to tamp down monthly expenses, he added.

Central Florida owners of residential property don’t appear to taking out equity — home-equity loans were also down last quarter from the fourth quarter of 2015.

The region that includes Orange, Seminole, Osceola and Lake counties had more cash buyers than the national average in the fourth quarter but buyers purchasing houses with cash in the Orlando area isn’t what it used to be. About 36 percent of Orlando-area buyers in the fourth quarter paid cash, which was down from 44 percent a year earlier.