FHFA: Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Refinance Volume Down in First Quarter 2018 as Mortgage Rates Rise

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) today reported that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac completed 356,003 refinances in the first quarter of 2018, compared with 446,295 in the fourth quarter of 2017.  FHFA’s first quarter Refinance Report also shows that 4,139 loans were refinanced through the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP), bringing the total number of HARP refinances to 3,488,165 since inception of the program in 2009.

Although HARP is scheduled to expire on December 31, 2018, according to new data released today, 73,868 borrowers could still benefit financially from a HARP refinance.  These borrowers meet the basic HARP eligibility requirements and have a remaining balance of $50,000 or more on their mortgage, a remaining term on their loan of greater than 10 years, and a mortgage interest rate that is at least 1.5 percent higher than current market rates.  These borrowers could save an average of $2,290 annually by refinancing their mortgage through HARP.  See the new, updated interactive U.S. map showing the number of HARP-eligible borrowers by state, Metropolitan Statistical Area, county and zip code as of December 31, 2017.

Also in the Refinance Report:

  • Through the first quarter of 2018, 34 percent of HARP refinances for underwater borrowers were for shorter-term 15- and 20-year mortgages, which build equity faster than traditional 30-year mortgages.
  • Nine states and one U.S. territory accounted for more than 70 percent of borrowers who remain eligible for HARP and have a financial incentive to refinance as of December 31, 2017:  Illinois, New Jersey, Michigan, Florida, Puerto Rico, Pennsylvania, Alabama, Maryland, and Georgia.
  • Borrowers who refinanced through HARP had a lower delinquency rate compared with borrowers eligible for HARP who did not refinance through the program.

Link to Refinance Report

Link to HARP.gov

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