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Friday, September 23, 2011

Mortgage Refinancing increasing as Mortgage Rates Fall

by Calculated Risk on 9/23/2011 11:37:00 PM

Earlier this week, in reaction to the Fed lowering long term rates, I asked: Will there be another Refinance Boom?. And reader Soylent Green is People (mortgage broker) commented:

"Refinance boom will be much larger than 2009 when the Feds remove the 125% LTV cap on HARP loans. There are so many whispers about it I can hardly hear myself think."
From Nick Timiraos at the WSJ: Rate Drop Spurs Home Refinancing
The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage dipped below 4%, possibly triggering a refinancing boom for many of the same borrowers who already have taken advantage of rock-bottom interest rates.

According to a survey by Credit Suisse on Thursday, lenders were offering an average rate of 3.91% on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages [with 1 point].
Obama administration officials and U.S. regulators are in talks with lenders about ways to revamp an existing White House refinancing initiative designed to help borrowers with little or no equity. The program is open to borrowers whose loans are backed by Fannie and Freddie, which guarantee about half of all outstanding home loans.
There are a few key points: 1) rates are now below 4% with 1 point, 2) but only certain borrowers can refinance at this rate - most borrowers can't because of tighter underwriting standards and lack of equity in their homes, and 3) there might be a large refinancing boom if HARP is expanded - although only for borrowers with loans guaranteed by Fannie or Freddie.