JPMorgan Chase & Co. is shifting half of its home-equity staff to mortgages to keep up with demand, according to Bloomberg.
“More and more customers are buying and refinancing their homes with Chase,” Chase spokeswoman Amy Bonitatibus said to HousingWire. “As such, we’re shifting resources to handle the increased volume and continue to close loans fast and on-time. This week, we increased our on-time closing guarantee to $2,500.”
According to Bloomberg, Chase is planning to hold off on marketing for HELOCs, as home-equity lines of credit have been less popular among Americans and the banks that offer them.
This decision was made in anticipation of a surge in demand for home loans, as the housing market is looking at a strong spring, and coronavirus fears are driving mortgage rates lower.
Just this week, the Mortgage Bankers Association indicates mortgage applications increased by 1.5% from the previous week. The MBA also reports the Refinance Index is 152% higher than the same week one year ago.
As homebuying season has commenced earlier this year and mortgage rates are hitting record lows, the housing market has heated up early.
In fact, January’s new home sales spiked 18.6% from 2019, according to the Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Sales of new homes jumped to an annualized rate of 764,000 last month.
According to Census data, January’s pace increased from December, which was upwardly revised from 694,000 to 708,000.
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