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FHFA refinance activity declines

Rising mortgage rates fuel the drop

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Refinance volumes continued to decline in August as mortgage rates inched up from July levels.

A little more than 68,000 Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac mortgages refinanced through the Home Affordable Refinance Program in August, representing 23% of the total refi volume, the Federal Housing Finance Agency said in a new report.

Since the program’s launch in 2009, more than 2.8 million loans have successfully refinanced through HARP.

Of the loans that refinanced through HARP in August, 17% had loan-to-value ratios greater than 125%. 

When taking a look at year-to-date figures through August, borrowers with LTV ratios above 105% represented 42% of the HARP loan volume. In the same time period, 19% of HARP refinances for underwater borrowers were for 15- and 20- year mortgages, indicating a quick pace of equity growth for homebuyers.

In Nevada and Florida, two of the hardest-hit housing markets, HARP refinances represented 57% and 50% of total refinancing activity, respectively. This is more than double the 22% of total refinances throughout the country over the same time period.

States with the highest number of HARP loans since the inception of the program through August included, Nevada (26%), Arizona (23%), Florida (20%) and Idaho (16%).

Since the program’s launch, more than 2.4 million loans refinanced through HARP were tied to primary residents, while 92,599 were for second homes and 338,495 were for investment properties. 

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