GSE refinancings peaked this year at 463,590 in April. Over the next four months refinancing activity dropped 35%. The average interest rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was 4.46% in August, up from 3.57% on April.
The August FHFA Refinance report also shows HARP refinancings have dropped by 36% over the same four-month period.
(HARP refinancings involve Fannie and Freddie loans with loan-to-value ratios greater than 80%. The Home Affordable Refinance Program is designed to help borrowers who are current on their payments but are underwater or face other issues that make it difficult to refinance.)
Fannie and Freddie servicers completed 68,340 HARP refinances in August, down from 106,900 in April. From July to August, HARP refinancings fell nearly 14%.
Overall, HARP volume reached 23% of total GSE refinance volume during August, compared to 22% in July.
In August, 42% of the loans refinanced through HARP had LTV ratios greater than 105% and 17% had LTVs greater than 125%.