More homeowners refinancing through HARP

WASHINGTON – Aug. 8, 2012 – According to the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s (FHFA) June Refinance Report, one-third of all home refinances through Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were made through the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) – the highest percentage of homeowners helped by HARP since the program began in April 2009.

FHFA attributed the increase in HARP volume to record-low mortgage rates and program enhancements announced last fall. After failing to meet forecasts, the federal government tinkered with HARP. Last fall, it removed the loan-to-value (LTV) ceiling for borrowers who refinance into fixed-rate loans and, for some borrowers, it removed or lowered fees.

Also in the report:

• Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac refinanced more loans through HARP in the first half of this year, 422,969, than the 400,024 it refinanced in all of 2011.

• HARP refinances for loans with LTV greater than 125 percent were also up in June – more than 40 percent of HARP loans.

• More than two-thirds of borrowers in states hard-hit by the housing downturn – Florida, Nevada and Arizona – refinanced through HARP in June, compared with 33 percent nationwide.

FHFA says that since 2009 Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac refinanced more than 2.2 million loans through their existing programs and more than 1.4 million loans through HARP.

FHFA has the full report posted online.

© 2012 Florida Realtors®

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