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FHFA: HARP leaps forward with 99,000 refinancings in August

Close to 99,000 homeowners refinanced their mortgages through the Home Affordable Refinance Program in August, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency.

That is nearly one-sixth of all HARP mortgage refinancings completed since the beginning of the year.

The FHFA paints that figure as indicative of the strong pace that HARP has maintained this year in refinancing home loans. 

In fact, since the onset of 2012, the program has played a role in refinancing more than 618,000 loans. So what's causing all of the refinancing activity?

The FHFA, as conservator of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, credits record low mortgage rates and enhancements to the HARP program, including HARP 2.0.

HARP launched in 2009. Since then, Fannie and Freddie have refinanced over 1.6 million loans via the program.

Borrowers with loan-to-value ratios above 105 accounted for more than half of the HARP volume in August, suggesting that program enhancements had boosted activity levels in higher LTV ranges.

About 18% of HARP refinancings for underwater borrowers occurred for shorter-term 15- and 20-year mortgages.

Seventy-percent of the HARP volume for borrowers with LTV ratios above 105% occurred in the hardest hit states of Nevada, Arizona and Florida. And about 60% of the refinances occurred in Idaho and California.

kpanchuk@housingwire.com

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