Refinancing typically soars when long-term mortgage rates drop, and recent history is no exception — except in New York.There was a 92 percent rise in mortgage-refinancing transactions nationwide in the first three months of this year over the corresponding period last year. But New York State had just a 6 percent bump.In a state filled with expensive homes and big mortgages, the below-5-percent interest rates being dangled in front of borrowers are not available to many New York homeowners, for various reasons. Others may be deterred by the high mortgage tax….One is that the lowest rates are only for mortgages of up to $417,000 — rarer in New York than elsewhere, because of high house prices — made to applicants with stellar credit, plenty of equity in the home and a steady, documentable income.
By Bob Tedeshi, May 3, 2009 NYT

 

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