Mortgage rates historically low but closing delays are high

Ed Crump Image
Tuesday, December 1, 2020
Mortgage rates historically low but you'll have to wait longer to close
If the lure of low interest rates on mortgages has you ready to jump into the market or just to refinance you'll need to exercise patience.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- If the lure of low interest rates on mortgages has you ready to jump into the market or just to refinance, you'll need to exercise patience.

This week, rates dipped as low as 2.5% on a 30-year fixed rate loan.

With rates at historic lows, the mortgage business is booming, and the time it will take to close on mortgages getting longer.

"I have a mortgage broker who was consistently processing and closing loans in 20 to 30 days back in May," Raleigh real estate attorney Sam Whitmeyer-Weathers told ABC11. "They were told by the their internal processing arm to begin offering 45 days, and within a couple of weeks that went to 60 days, then the 90 days."

Whitmeyer-Weathers said at one point this summer, he and his staff were working almost constantly.

"We went through a period of time where we were working 14, 15, 16 hours a day seven days a week with no let-up."

He says, thankfully, things have slowed just enough for them to catch their breath.

But that's about all.

"Everybody in the industry is still extremely busy and struggling really to keep up with volume," he said.

Whitmeyer-Weathers is still finding it hard to believe that in the midst of a world-wide crisis, his business has more than doubled over last year.

During our interview his mind wandered back to March when the pandemic first got a grip on the U.S.

He thought he was about to take an extended vacation he recalled saying, "Of course that's the opposite of what happened. It's gotten progressively busier over that period of time."

Whitmeyer-Weathers also said the increase in business is across all sectors of the real estate market -- closings, purchases, sales, leases, commercial, and residential.

As he toils away at closing after closing, he has some advice for those wondering if they should refinance or if they have the patience.

"If you can reduce your rate by as much as three-quarters of a point or a point, there are significant savings there and it's worth the wait."

And, he added, make sure you choose a reputable lender.

But once you've made the move, be prepared to wait for your closing, possibly months.