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Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The HARP Refinance Boom Continued in August

by Calculated Risk on 10/16/2012 06:49:00 PM

From the FHFA:

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) today released its August Refinance Report, which shows that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loans refinanced through the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) accounted for nearly one-quarter of all refinances in August. Nearly 99,000 homeowners refinanced their mortgage in August through the HARP program with more than 618,000 loans refinanced since the beginning of this year. This continues the strong pace of HARP refinancing with the program on target to reach a million borrowers in 2012.
...
In August, borrowers with loan-to-value (LTV) ratios greater than 105 percent continued to account for more than half the volume of HARP loans as HARP enhancements were fully implemented in the second quarter of 2012.

In August, nearly 18 percent of HARP refinances for underwater borrowers were for shorter-term 15- and 20-year mortgages, which help build equity faster.

In August, HARP refinances represented nearly half or more of total refinances in states hard-hit by the housing downturn – Nevada, Arizona and Florida –compared with 24 percent of total refinances nationwide.

Also in August, HARP refinances for borrowers with LTV ratios greater than 105 percent accounted for more than 70 percent of HARP volume in Nevada, Arizona and Florida and more than 60 percent of the HARP refinances in Idaho and California.
Just wait until the September and October reports are released (when rates declined sharply)!

Note: the automated system wasn't released until the end of March - and there were some issues with that system - so HARP refinances didn't really pickup until sometime in Q2. Now they are on pace for 1 million refinances this year.

These "underwater" borrowers are current (most took out loans 5 to 7 years ago), and they will probably stay current with the lower interest rate.

This table shows the number of HARP refinances by LTV through August of this year compared to all of 2011. Clearly there has been a sharp increase in activity.

HARP Activity
2012, Through AugustAll of 2011Since Inception
Total HARP618,217400,0241,640,068
LTV >80% to 105%361,697340,0331,292,932
LTV >105% to 125%138,05059,991228,666
LTV >125%118,4700118,470