The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) released its February 2013 Refinance Report, which shows that refinance volumes remained high as mortgage rates hovered near historic low levels. More than 463,000 refinances took place in February, with 97,738 completed through the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP). This brings the number of total HARP refinances to more than 2.3 million since the program’s inception in April 2009.FHFA recently announced it has extended HARP for two more years and will soon launch a nationwide campaign to educate and encourage homeowners to learn about HARP eligibility requirements. HARP was set to expire Dec. 31 of this year.Also in the February 2013 report:
► Borrowers with loan-to-value (LTV) ratios greater than 105 percent accounted for 45 percent of the volume of HARP loans.
► The number of completed HARP refinances for deeply underwater borrowers continued to represent a significant portion of total HARP volume. In February, 22 percent of the loans refinanced through HARP had a LTV ratio greater than 125 percent.
► Through February, underwater borrowers represented 65 percent or more of total HARP volume in Nevada, Arizona and Florida.
► Also in February, 18 percent of HARP refinances for underwater borrowers were for shorter-term 15- and 20-year mortgages, which build equity faster than traditional 30-year mortgages.
► The total number of HARP loans by state include: California (329,707), Florida (200,332), Illinois (158,822), Michigan (158,462), and Arizona (117,149).