The Northwest Arkansas housing market ended 2020 on a high note, a trend that also helped boost mortgage refinancing.
According to a new report from Attom Data Solutions, lenders issued just over 13,000 mortgage refinances in the Fayetteville-Rogers-Springdale MSA (metropolitan statistical area) last year. The final quarter alone saw more than 4,000 refinances. That was a 79% jump from the same period the year before.
For the year, refinances in Northwest Arkansas were up 83% to 13,159.
According to data from the Matrix software platform used by the Northwest Arkansas Board of Realtors (NABOR), Northwest Arkansas home sales in 2020 increased nearly 13% from the comparable 2019 figure. The hot residential market coupled with record-low interest rates helped to drive the refinancing surge. Northwest Arkansas also saw a sharp rise in the number of new home mortgages — up almost 10% to more than 8,600.
Home refinancing surged in other Arkansas areas. In the Little Rock-North Little Rock-Conway MSA, refinances jumped 77% to 13,840 last year. In the Fort Smith metro, the number jumped 52% to 3,336.
Across the country, home refinances jumped 71% in 2020, with Seattle seeing the largest gain, the Attom data found.
Attom tracked 214 metro areas with at a population of at least 200,000 and at least 1,000 total loans in the fourth quarter of 2020.