How Many Homeowners Are at Risk of Missing the Window to Refinance? Evidence from the 2016 Survey of Consumer Finances

Jonathan Spader

With interest rates ticking upward in 2018 and the prospect of further rate increases to come, the era of historically-low mortgage rates may be ending. While many homeowners have taken advantage of low interest rates by refinancing, some homeowners have not. This research brief draws on the Survey of Consumer Finances to examine the extent to which homeowners had and had not refinanced prior to the 2016 survey. It then identifies and describes the mortgage and demographic characteristics of homeowners who may be affected by rising rates, including those with adjustable-rate mortgages and those with fixed interest rates of 5 percent or higher.