Refinance volume sees quarterly decrease

by Francis Monfort22 Aug 2017
There were more than 356,709 refinances completed during the second quarter, a decrease from the 510,074 refinances completed in the first quarter, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) said in its second quarter refinance report.

The quarterly decrease comes despite an uptick in refinance volume in June following a slip in mortgage rates in May. Of the second quarter total, 222,453 were completed with Fannie Mae, while 134,256 were with Freddie Mac.

During the quarter, there were 9,707 refinances completed through the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP), representing 3% of the total volume during the quarter. The figure brings the total refinances completed through HARP to 3,470,804 since the program began. The second quarter activity compares to 13,425 HARP refinances in the first quarter.

The FHFA also released data showing that as of March 31, HARP refinancing was still available for 143,051 borrowers. Aside from meeting the basic requirements to qualify for HARP, these borrowers have mortgages with a remaining balance of $50,000 or more as well as a remaining loan term of more than 10 years. Additionally, these borrowers have mortgage interest rates that are higher than current markets rates by at least 1.5%.

More than 60% of borrowers who qualify for HARP and are financially incentivized to refinance are located in nine states and one US territory: Illinois, Florida, Michigan, Ohio, Puerto Rico, New Jersey, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and New York.

The FHFA report also found that through the second quarter, 25% of HARP refinances for underwater borrowers were for mortgages with 15- and 20-year terms. FHFA said that these shorter-term mortgages build equity faster than the traditional 30-year mortgage.

Related stories:
HARP extended through the end of 2018
Refinance applications up share of total mortgage activity


Should CFPB have more supervision over credit agencies?