Plunging interest rates, a consequence of the turmoil in the stock market, are proving to be a boon for mortgage refinancers. But so far, those low rates aren't doing much to reignite the nation's torpid housing market, and they may even delay its recovery.
With rates on conventional 30-year fixed-rate mortgages falling near, and in a few cases below, the 4 percent level, homeowners locally and nationally have been rushing to refinance in recent weeks.
"It's really quite astonishing," said Rich Bennion, executive vice president at Seattle-based HomeStreet Bank, a major regional mortgage lender. "I've been in the business 34 years, and it's like, how low can you go?"
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