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FHFA: April Refinance Volume Similar to 2008

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) released its latest Refinance Report [1], examining data as of the end of April 2014. The FHFA found that overall refinance volume rose slightly in April, but remained at levels more comparable to those seen in 2008.

The agency noted that mortgage rates remained between four to four and a half percent since June 2013. In April, the average interest rate on a 30-year fixed rate mortgage stayed put at March's rate at 4.34 percent.

Roughly 20,000 refinances were completed through HARP in April, bringing the total HARP refinances to approximately 3.1 million since the program's inception.

The government agency noted that borrowers who refinanced through HARP had a lower delinquency rate compared to borrowers who were eligible for HARP but did not refinance through the program.

Since the beginning of the program, roughly 2.6 million loans refinanced through HARP were for primary residences, with approximately 100,000 for second homes and 395,000 for investment properties.

HARP refinances continued to represent a significant portion of homes that are deeply underwater. The FHFA noted that 10 percent of loans refinanced through HARP had a loan-to-value ratio greater than 125 percent. Borrowers with a loan-to-value ratio greater than 105 percent made up 30 percent of the volume of HARP loans.

"Year to date through April 2014, 24 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," FHFA said.

HARP continued to account for a substantial portion of total refinance volume in certain states, according to the FHFA. "Year to date through April 2014, HARP refinances represented 40 percent of total refinances in Georgia and 37 percent of the total refinances in Florida, nearly double the 20 percent of total refinances nationwide over the same period," FHFA said.