National Real Estate - FHFA: More than 700,000 Have Used HARP Through September

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FHFA: More than 700,000 Have Used HARP Through September

More than 700,000 have used HARP through September

Tuesday, December 11th, 2012

The Home Affordable Refinance Program was created to provide borrowers with an affordable option to refinance their mortgage. According to the Federal Housing Finance Agency, this program has been extremely popular.

Since the program began in 2009, more than 1.7 million borrowers have completed a refinance through HARP. The program has been especially popular this year, as more than 709,000 have used HARP to refinance their loan in the first nine months. This spike can be attributed to mortgage rates hovering around record lows and changes to the program broadening borrower eligibility.

When the program was revamped in mid-2012, it allowed borrowers who were deeply underwater apply for a HARP refinance. In September, one-fourth of the those who used HARP had loan-to-value ratios greater than 125 percent, while half had LTVs higher than 105 percent.

Owners of Florida homes have taken advantage of the government program in greater volume than other states, as HARP refinances accounted for 45 percent of total refi applications in the Sunshine State. Nevada, Arizona and Georgia also had the same percentage of HARP refinances. The national averaged was 21 percent.

FHFA acting director Edward J. DeMarco believes the program can help a significant amount of borrowers in the remaining three months of 2012.

"It is possible that the program could reach nearly a million borrowers, or more, by the end of this year," he said in a meeting with the Exchequer Club in Washington, according to Bloomberg.

In order for this number to be reached, about 100,000 borrowers would need to refinance through HARP in the last quarter of the year. This would be in line with September's number, as more than 90,000 used the program for a refinance.

National real estate trends have a major impact on the real estate market on a daily basis. Keeping up-to-date on the latest news and notes posted by GL Homes can make sure those looking for South Florida homes know exactly how the current market will affect them.