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Refinance Retention Rates at Two-Year High

Sep 09, 2019
Photo credit: Getty Images/Gerasimov174

Falling mortgage rates helped to push up refinance retention rates the second quarter to 24 percent, the highest level since late 2017, according to new data from Black Knight Inc. The retention of rate/term refinance borrowers hit 30 percent in the second quarter after remaining stagnant below the 20 percent level for much of 2018.
Two weeks ago, Black Knight reported tappable equity reached a record high in the second quarter at $6.3 trillion. Black Knight Data & Analytics President Ben Graboske noted that achievement also had a negative impact on servicers.
“The not-so-good news is that–in an environment of record-high levels of tappable equity and low interest rates that makes cash-out refinances an affordable option for accessing that equity–servicers are retaining just one in five cash-out borrowers,” he explained. “Even though rate-term refis are surging right now, cash-outs still made up some 62 percent of all refinances in the second quarter. Add to that the fact that borrowers refinancing out of 2012-2017 vintage loans account for nearly half of all refis so far in 2019, nearly 80 percent were cash-out transactions.
“Savvy lenders and servicers need to go beyond the low- hanging fruit of 2018 vintage loans in order to retain this business–and capture additional market share where others are missing out,” Graboske added. “The key to success is being able to identify and target these customers through an informed, data-driven growth and retention strategy.”

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