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Freddie Mac boosts mortgage origination projections

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Freddie Mac boosted mortgage origination projections for the second half of 2012 to account for the additional refinance activity the government-sponsored enterprise is now expecting.

Around $7.7 billion in net home equity was cashed out during the refinance of conventional prime-credit home mortgages, according to Freddie Mac, which increased from $5.9 million in Q2.

'Our Primary Mortgage Market Survey found that 82% of loan applications during the third quarter were for refinance, matching the record share of the fourth quarter of 2010,' said vice president and chief economist Frank Nothaft of Freddie Mac.

In the third quarter, 83% of homeowners that refinanced first-lien home mortgages maintained or reduced loan amounts. The median interest rate reduction was 31%, which is the largest decrease in the past 27 years, according to Freddie Mac results.

Of these borrowers, 54% maintained the same loan amount, while 29% of refinancing homeowners saw their principal balances reduce. 

The third-quarter results show homeowners who refinance continue to see an increase in their fiscal home.

The median depreciation of collateral property saw a 10% increase over the median prior-loan life of 4.8 years. 

Under the Home Affordable Refinance Program, property-value change, loan age and rate reduction differed between refinancings. 

Loans refinanced in Q3 through HARP, the median depreciation in property value was 31%, and the prior loan had a median age of about 5.6 years. The HARP borrower also had an average interest-rate reduction of 2 percentage points.

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