It seems more and more people are using the low-interest-rate environment to take out or switch to 15-year mortgages, allowing people to pay off their houses earlier and to build up equity faster. The trend is the opposite of what normally happens when interest rates fall.
Though there are great arguments on both sides about whether it’s a smart financial move to go with a 15-year mortgage or a 30-year mortgage, we think there are a few other psychological reasons at work these days: a.) People no longer trust the stock markets, so they figure they might as well put their money to better use somewhere else. b.) People don’t know what the future holds and want those mortgages paid off ASAP, i.e. at least they’ll own something if economic armageddon happens.