With rates nearing last year's lows, Street analysts are starting the refi talk all over again. In recent research, Salomon Smith Barney looked at the different refinancing triggers, and gauged them against the percentage of the market that is now refinanceable.
According to Salomon, only 38% of the market is now in-the-money compared to roughly 90% in early November last year, when rates reached their all-time lows. Using the percentage in-the-money measure, and as of last Wednesday, the bank noted that the refinanceable fraction of the market would likely reach November levels if mortgage rates rally another 60 basis points based on the Salomon Base Mortgage Rate and 40 basis points in terms of the Freddie Mac Survey rate. This event would likely cause "another round of frenzied refinancing activity."