In the third quarter, 87% of the homeowners who refinanced their homes got a mortgage at least 5% larger than the original loan, according to Freddie Mac.The percentage was up from 84% in the previous quarter but down slightly from 88% a year earlier, the government-sponsored enterprise said in its quarterly refinance review. "Thirty-year fixed conforming mortgage rates averaged 6.7% in July, the highest level thus far this year, before easing in the latter half of the quarter," said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac's chief economist. "At the same time, rates on jumbo mortgages became relatively much more expensive compared to conforming rates, rising to an average of 7.4% for 30-year fixed-rate loans in August. These higher rates during the first part of the third quarter put a damper on mortgage activity and reduced the overall volume of refinancing." Freddie Mac can be found online at http://www.freddiemac.com.

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