Many rushing to refinance before interest rates go up - New York News

Many rushing to refinance before interest rates go up

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PHOENIX -

Phoenix was one of the hardest-hit real estate markets when the bubble burst. Now, it's leading the nation when it comes to increasing home prices.

That's led to a boom in refinancing.

Real estate agents and mortgage advisors are busier than they have been in years. The combination of low interest rates and rising home prices mean people are in a hurry to buy a home, and those who already own are rushing to try and lock in at near-record low interest rates before they go up.

It's the first time in a long time we've heard such good news about the valley's housing market. Phoenix is leading the nation when it comes to the jump in home prices, up nearly 22 percent compared to last year, and that is keeping mortgage advisors like Jeremy Schachter very busy.

"I think a lot of people have more hope now -- and especially with interest rates being so low it's definitely a win-win situation," says Schachter.

Schachter says many homeowners are coming in looking to refinance their mortgages now that they may have equity -- and with interest rates hovering in the 3.3 percent mark for a 30-year loan, that can save a lot of money each month.

"On average I'm saving between $200 and $500 per month, so that's significant."

"We'd been trying to refinance, we waited for the market to turn around and thought let's see if we can actually get in," says Micheal Meints.

Jimmy Williams and Micheal Meints recently refinanced their north Phoenix home they bought at the height of the market in 2007.

After the re-finance, their rate went from 7.6 to 3.5 percent, saving $600 a month.

"The best part of it is knowing that we're actually chipping away at the equity of the house -- that we're earning this house. We love this house, we don't want to move," says Williams.

Housing experts expect the market to continue to gain momentum in the new year. Higher prices also give existing homeowners the chance to sell their homes and have a down payment for another, something that hasn't happened in years.

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