Thursday, August 9, 2012

MBA: Mortgage applications decrease with a drop in refinance ...

Mortgage applications decreased for the week ending August 3, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association ? a potential fallout from the recent increase in rates.

The Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey, the Market Composite Index fell 1.8 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from a week ago. The Refinance and Purchase indices both contributed to this overall drop, as they decreased 2 and 1 percent, respectively.

Although MBA saw a drop in refinance activity, the Federal Housing Finance Agency said refinances through the Home Affordable Refinance Program surged in the first half of 2012. According to its June Refinance Report, one in three refinances were through HARP in June, the highest level since the program's inception in April 2009.

The increase in HARP refinances can be attributed to record-low mortgage rates for much of the year and the elimination of the loan-to-value ceiling for borrowers who refinance into fixed-rate loans.

Through June, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have refinanced more HARP loans than all of 2011 ? 422,969 in the first half this year compared to 400,024 a year earlier. Borrowers in the states hit hardest by the mortgage crisis have especially taken advantage of HARP, as nearly two-thirds of borrowers in Nevada, Arizona and Florida refinanced through the government program.


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