Fewer borrowers get HARP refinances in October

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The Home Affordable Refinance Program recorded a 45% drop in volume in October from the previous year as it continunes to wind down, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency.

Earlier this year, when the FHFA extended HARP through the end of 2018, it said 143,000 conforming borrowers could benefit from the program.

Total mortgage refinance volume increased in October as the previous month's rates in were below levels seen at the start of the year.

In October, the total number of refis grew to 142,687 from 128,738 the previous month, but was still down from 243,537 from the same period last year. The average interest rate on a 30-year fixed rate mortgage increased to 3.9% from 3.8% in the previous month.

Borrowers completed 2,184 refinances through HARP, compared to 3,986 from the previous year, bringing the total refinances since its inception to 3,479,901. HARP volume accounted for 2% of all refinance loans in October.

Notably, borrowers who refinanced through HARP had a lower delinquency rate than those who did not refinance through the program.

Approximately 26% of HARP refinances for underwater borrowers from January to October were for shorter term 15- and 20-year mortgages, which build equity more quickly than the traditional 30-year mortgages, according to the FHFA.

Year-to-date through October, 32,229 refinances were completed through HARP, while 67,115 were completed throughout all of 2016.

About 7% of loans refinanced through HARP had a loan-to-value ratio greater than 125%.

In Nevada, Illinois and Florida, HARP refinances represented 5% or more of total refinances from the start of the year through October, more than doubling the 2% value of total refinances nationwide.

Nine states and Puerto Rico accounted for more than 60% of HARP eligible loans with a refinance incentive as of June 30.

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