Homeowners opting for shorter, fixed rate loans when refinancing

The average rate for a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage also dropped to 3.95 percent from 4.03 percent. 

Of those borrowers with 1-year adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs), 19 percent switched to a 15-year fixed and 75 percent opted for a 30-year fixed. 

A large portion of borrowers with hybrid ARMs switched into 30-year fixed loans — 77 percent — while 6 percent chose a 15-year mortgage. 

Seventy percent of borrowers with 15-year loans stayed put, while 26 percent switched to a 30-year loan. 

Of those with 20-year loans, 58 percent refinanced into a 15-year mortgage and 34 percent moved to a 30-year rate. 

About 69 percent of borrowers with 30-year fixed loans kept that length, while 19 percent switched to a 15-year rate and 11 percent moved to a 20-year rate.