The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) released its latest Refinance Report, looking at data from the first quarter of 2014. The government agency reported that in Q1 2014, approximately 77,000 refinances were completed through the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP), bringing the total refinances through HARP to 3.1 million since the program's inception.
Total refi volume decreased in March, dropping to levels last seen in 2008. HARP was initially set to expire on December 31, 2013, but was extended to expire on December 31, 2015 in order to continue helping homeowners underwater on their mortgage.
The first quarter of 2014 marks the fourth straight quarter that total refinances and HARP refinances have declined. The report attributed the decline in refi's to March's rising interest rates.
The total volume of HARP refinances was 21 percent of all refinances for the quarter, with 12 percent of loans refinanced through HARP with a loan-to-value ratio greater than 125 percent.
In the first quarter of 2014, 23 percent of HARP refinances for underwater borrowers were for shorter-term, 15- and 20- year mortgages. The remaining 77 percent of loans were for the longer, more traditional 30-year note.
According to the FHFA, borrowers who refinanced through HARP had a lower delinquency rate compared to borrowers eligible for HARP who did not use the program.
"Year-to-date through March 2014, HARP refinances represented 41 percent of total refinances in Georgia and 38 percent of the total refinances in Florida, nearly double the 21 percent of total refinances nationwide over the same period," FHFA said.
Other notable states with a large percentage of HARP refinances as a percentage of total refinances include Nevada (33 percent), Michigan (33 percent), and Illinois (31 percent).