Hawaii mortgage rates lowest in six decades

By Howard Dicus - bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Mortgage rates edged up this week - but both here and on the mainland, they remain at the lowest levels since 1951 when doctors endorsed brands of cigarettes and cars had fins.

Some Hawaii banks are quoting 3.75% for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage to borrow $200,000 with 20% down, and APRs - annual percentage rates that factor in points and fees to give the real interest rate - remain near or below 4%.

Hawaii's biggest local banks have done thousands of mortgages since the year began, but the vast majority are refi's. Refinancing $200,000 in mortgage debt from 6% to 4% can save more than $200 a month in mortgage payments.

The Honolulu Board of Realtors told its members this week that Bank of Hawaii, Central Pacific Bank and Hawaii National Bank were all quoting 3.75%, while First Hawaiian Bank, Territorial Savings and Finance Factors were at 3.875% - three and seven-eights.

APRs varied more because of differences in points. A point is 1% of a mortgage, paid up front. That's 1% of the amount borrowed, not the actual cost of the house. First Hawaiian's quote is based on 2 points while Bankoh's is based on 2.25%, while other local lenders ask less than 2 points.

In the first nine months of this year, First Hawaiian Bank did 2,903 mortgage loans totaling $1.02 billion. American Savings Bank did 2,506 loans totaling $581 million. Bank of Hawaii did 1,722 loans totaling $703 million, Title Guaranty reported.

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