Conventional 30 year home loan rates
Theoretically the vast majority of home loans out there could be refinanced but there are a few unfortunate facts which may prevent many from refinancing: Negative equity, conservative valuations and high unemployment.
CNN Money has a good article detailing the these 3 challenges.
If you are wondering how monetary policy can have limits this is a good example of how and why. In an effort to continually re-stimulated the economy and encourage society to take on more debt over time we have reached a point where historic low interest rates will just not do much for the US consumer. They are already too tapped out and low interest rates will not encourage them to borrow more let alone take advantage of the lower interest rates and buy a home; they just can't. People 'trapped' in their homes due to negative equity also hinders future home sales as it inhibits consumers from being able to move or trade up.
Consumer home debt / GDP
The ratio of consumer mortgage debt to gdp (both nominal) was at data series highs at the beginning of the great financial crisis. Yes I know I'm comparing home debt to national GDP and not home prices but it's yet another reminder of how much debt our society has taken on.
If you are in the position to refinance and have questions give me a ring and we can talk about some of the options / pitfalls when looking for a new mortgage.
Thanks: David Merkel