Places Where People Refinance Most – 2021 Study

SmartAsset Study 2021: Places where people refinance the most

Many homeowners were given incentives to refinance their homes after mortgage rates hit all-time lows in 2020. And data from Freddie Mac shows that this led mortgage refinancing activity to hit its second-highest milestone since it peaked in 2003. For comparison, there was about $ 2.6 trillion in inflation-adjusted refinancing loans for 2020, compared to $ 3.9 trillion in 2003.

Although refinancing activity peaked across the country, it varied by location. In this study, SmartAsset looked at the metropolitan areas where people refinanced the most in 2020. We compared the number of refinancing requests approved versus the number of homes with a mortgage. Specifically, we used data from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and the Census Bureau to rank nearly 400 metropolitan areas by percentage of homes refinanced. For more information on our data or how our results are compiled, see the Data and Methodology section below.

Most important findings

  • There is a wide range of refinancing activities in the metropolitan areas. In 2020, more than every fifth house was refinanced with a mortgage in 37 of the 393 metropolitan areas examined in our study. Meanwhile, the number of approved refinance requests divided by the number of homes with mortgage loans in 148 metropolitan areas is less than 10%. There is a difference of almost 27 percentage points between the metropolitan area where people refinanced the most (Provo-Orem, Utah) and the metropolitan area where people refinanced the least (Binghamton, New York).

  • Higher home values ​​can mean greater savings potential when it comes to refinancing. With six of the top 10 metropolitan areas where people in California refinance the most, the average home value in the top 10 locations in our study is $ 584,890. That’s about 143% higher than the national median home worth of $ 240,500. This trend of higher refinancing activity in expensive areas may not come as a surprise given that interest in more expensive homes is higher.

  • There isn’t a lot of refinancing activity in New York State. Six of the ten metropolitan areas where people are least likely to find themselves in refinancing are in New York state. These include Binghamton, Utica-Rome, Syracuse, Glen Falls, Ithaca, and Buffalo-Cheektowaga-Niagara Falls. In all six locations, less than 5% of the apartments were refinanced with mortgages in 2020.

The image is a card from SmartAsset entitled "Top 10 Places Where People Refinance The Most"

The image is a card from SmartAsset titled “Top 10 Places People Go to Refinance the Most”.

1. Salt Lake City, UT

The story goes on

Almost one in three homeowners with a mortgage loan in Provo-Orem, Utah had their home refinanced in 2020. The total number of refinance requests approved was approximately 26,900 and the total number of homes with a mortgage was approximately 90,300.

2. Flagstaff, AZ

In 2020, nearly 4,300 refinance requests were approved in the Flagstaff area of ​​Arizona. This corresponds to an increase of around 239% compared to the number of refinancing applications approved in 2019 (1,263 according to CFPB data). When compared to the number of homes with mortgages in the region, the refinance rate for 2020 is 28.79%. That is the second highest value in our study.

3rd st. George, UT

The St. George subway area is located in southwest Utah. In 2020, 27.73% of homeowners applied for mortgages and received approval to refinance their home. According to the CFPB, the total number of approved refinanced applications was 7,682.

4. San Diego-Karlovy Vary, California

In the top 10 places where people refinance the most, California’s metropolitan area of ​​San Diego-Carlsbad has the highest total number of approved refinance requests in 2020 at 118,043. When compared to the number of homes with mortgage loans in the region (approximately 427,500), we found that nearly 28% of homeowners benefited from low mortgage rates over the past year.

5. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA

Approximately 27.5% of the homes with mortgages in San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, California were refinanced in 2020. According to the Census Bureau and CFPB data, the total number of homes with an existing mortgage is 248,465 and approximately 68,300 refinance requests were approved last year.

6. Anaheim-Santa Ana-Irvine, CA.

In the greater Anaheim-Santa Ana-Irvine area of ​​California, the total number of approved refinance requests in 2020 (110,596) is around 219% higher than the number approved in 2019 (34,695). Looking at the number of homes with mortgages, we found that the percentage of homes refinanced is 26.98% – the sixth highest in the 393 metropolitan areas we looked at.

7. Oakland-Hayward-Berkeley, CA

As in the Anaheim-Santa Ana-Irvine area, more than 110,000 refinance requests were approved in Oakland-Hayward-Berkeley, California last year. When compared to the number of homes on mortgages, we found that 26.83% of Oakland-Hayward-Berkeley homeowners who pay off a mortgage were refinanced in 2020.

8. Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, CA

Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura is fifth of six California metropolitan areas that are among our top 10 places to find people to refinance the most. CFPB data shows that approximately 30,800 refinance requests were approved in the Greater Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura area in 2020. Compared to the around 120,100 mortgage-leased apartments in the region, this is almost 26% of homeowners who decide to refinance.

9. San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles-Arroyo Grande, CA

Approximately 25% of the homes with mortgage loans in San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles-Arroyo Grande, California were refinanced in 2020. The total number of approved refinancing applications in 2020 (10,116) is around 231.5% higher than the number approved in 2019 (3,052). .

10. Ocean City, NJ

Ocean City, New Jersey, a popular second home, rounds out our list of the top 10 places where people get the most refinancing. CFPB data shows that more than 4,300 refinancing applications were approved in 2020. In relation to the approximately 17,400 mortgage-assisted apartments in the region, almost one in four homeowners opted for the low interest rate phase last year.

Image is a table from SmartAsset entitled "Where people refinance the most."

The picture is a table from SmartAsset titled “Where People Are Refinancing the Most.”

Data and methodology

To find the places where people refinance the most, we looked at 393 metropolitan areas. For each area we compared two metrics:

  • Number of approved refinancing applications. The data comes from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and relates to the year 2020.

  • Number of homes with a mortgage. The data comes from the Census Bureau’s annual American Community Survey.

For each metropolitan area, we’ve divided the number of refinance requests approved by the number of homes with a mortgage. The result is the percentage of homes refinanced. We have ranked the spots from highest to lowest based on these percentages.

It should be noted that Freddie Mac reports that repeat refinances – loans that have been refinanced twice or more times with a maturity of 12 months – increased in 2020. Our study does not differentiate between ordinary refinancing and repeat refinancing. Thus, the total number of approved refinancing applications may include applications from the same borrowers.

Tips for saving money on your mortgage

  • Check if refinancing is the right step. It can be hard to know on your own whether a refinancing makes sense. If you need help calculating your potential savings, take a look at our refinancing calculator. Additionally, our Comprehensive Refinancing Guide has many other useful resources for homeowners considering adjusting their mortgage rate.

  • Consider making additional payments. If you pay more than your mortgage requires, there are several ways you can get it, including reducing the interest you pay over time. If you want to make additional mortgage payments, follow these steps.

  • Get advice you can trust. No matter where you live, a financial advisor can help you get your financial life in order. Finding a qualified financial advisor doesn’t have to be difficult. SmartAsset’s free tool will match you with up to three financial advisors in your area, and you can survey your adviser matches for free to decide which one is right for you. If you’re ready to find a counselor to help you meet your financial goals, get started now.

Questions about our study? contact us under [email protected]

Photo credit: iStock.com/courtneyk

The article Places Where People Refinance Most – Study 2021 first appeared on the SmartAsset blog.

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