As soon as interest rates dipped to historic lows last week, yields crept back up. While the borrowing-cost moves certainly aren't immaterial for house hunters, the impact of falling and rising mortgage rates has been partly offset by the inverse swing in real estate prices. In other words, while rates have fallen to give your mortgaged dollar more power, the value of the house you were pining for has probably inched up accordingly.

However, for those who are more than happy in their present homes, the race to refinance has been fierce. According to the Mortgage Bankers Association of America, refinancing now accounts for 68.9% of all mortgage loans. A year ago, refinance deals were just 46.4% of the mortgage loan market.

The boom is natural. As long as the numbers line up attractively, it's found money in lower monthly payments at a time when money is tight all over. Stocks that stood to benefit from the refinancing boom have performed well. Lenders such as Countrywide Credit Industries(NYSE: CCR) posted record quarterly results, and homeowners are reinvesting the savings into their houses, given this morning's healthy report by home-improvement retailer Lowe's(NYSE: LOW).

Homeowners know the low rates won't last forever, which is why locking into them is critical. Last week may have been the bottom for mortgage rates. Either way, folks aren't expecting to see the welcome mat much longer.