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Many are taking advantage of historically low interest rates. Volume of new mortgages hit record levels in the fourth quarter of 2020 By Steve Yablonski Central New York residents, like others across the nation, are taking advantage of historically low interest rates. They are refinancing or buying new homes. The volume of new mortgages hit record levels in the fourth quarter of 2020, surpassing a 2003 high before adjusting for inflation, the New York Fed said in its latest household debt report. Mortgage originations for home purchases spiked in the fourth quarter of 2020, with first-time and repeat buyers borrowing to buy homes at a similar pace. The researchers pointed out that, even first-time, borrowers look more financially stable now than during the mid-2000s housing boom. ”What’s good news for the buyers is the low interest rate. When you have interest rates of 2.5% as opposed to previous years being 5.5, 6.5 or 7.5 or years ago as high as 13, it’s great for a buyer. They’ll pay far less in the long-run because of the interest,” said Teri L. Beckwith of Hunt Real Estate, ERA. “And, the sellers are finding a lot of interest, too.” Sellers’ Market “This year