Mortgage activity edged lower this month

Overall mortgage application activity declined during the week ending August 3, but one government refinance initiative proved to be very successful so far this year.

Overall mortgage application activity declined during the week ending August 3, but one government refinance initiative proved to be very successful so far this year.

Home loan requests, which includes both purchase and refinance applications, fell 1.8 percent from the previous week, according to a report from the Mortgage Bankers Association. This development was somewhat surprising, since interest rates continue to hover near all-time lows.

Refinancing declined 2 percent during the period, but the overall share of this activity remained relatively unchanged at 81 percent, the report said.

Although fewer borrowers opted for conventional refinances at the beginning of August, the Federal Housing Finance Agency announced that during the first six months of the year, the Home Affordable Refinance Program experienced the highest-level of activity since the initiative's inception.  

Mortgage records indicate as of the end of June, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac restructured more than 422,000 loans through HARP. This amount was already more than the total number of loans refinanced through the program during the course of 2011, and experts anticipate even more activity during the latter half of 2012.



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