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More Than 95 Percent Of Refinancing Borrowers Choose Fixed-Rate Mortgages

MCLEAN, Va., Aug. 14, 2012 -- In the second quarter of 2012, fixed-rate loans accounted for more than 95 percent of refinance loans, based on the Freddie Mac (OTC: FMCC) Quarterly Product Transition Report released today. Refinancing borrowers clearly preferred fixed-rate loans, regardless of whether their original loan was an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) or a fixed-rate.

News Facts

  • Of borrowers who refinanced during the second quarter, 30 percent reduced their loan term, while 67 percent of borrowers kept the same term as the loan they had paid off.
  • Eighty-one percent of borrowers who had a hybrid ARM chose a fixed-rate loan during the second quarter, the highest share since the second quarter of 2010, while the remaining 19 percent chose to refinance into the same type of product.  
  • Borrowers who refinanced under the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) were more likely to take out a long-term, fixed-rate mortgage. For example, 25 percent of HARP borrowers shortened their loan term when they refinanced during the second quarter, compared with 30 percent of borrowers who refinanced outside of HARP. Further, 95 percent of borrowers who were refinancing out of an ARM under the HARP program chose a fixed-rate mortgage. In contrast, borrowers who had an ARM, but did not refinance through HARP, about one-half opted for another hybrid ARM.

Quotes

Attributed to Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist

  • "Fixed mortgage rates averaged 3.79 percent for 30-year loans and 3.04 percent for 15-year product during the second quarter in Freddie Mac's Primary Mortgage Market Survey®, well below long-term averages and the lowest quarterly averages recorded in our survey. The Bureau of Economic Analysis has estimated the average coupon on single-family loans was about 5.0 percent during the second quarter of 2012. It's no wonder we continue to see strong refinance activity into fixed-rate loans.
  • "Compared to a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage, the interest rate on a 15-year fixed was about three-quarters of a percentage point lower during the second quarter. For borrowers motivated to refinance by low fixed-rates, they could obtain even lower rates by shortening their term. Further, a shorter-term, fully amortizing loan reduces the loan balance faster and builds home equity sooner."

Get the latest information from Freddie Mac's Office of the Chief Economist on Twitter:@FreddieMac

Quarterly Product Transition Information

These estimates come from a sample of properties on which Freddie Mac has funded at least two successive loans and the latest loan is for refinance rather than for home purchase. Some loan products, such as 1-year ARMs and balloons, are based on a small number of transactions. During the second quarter of 2012, the refinance share of applications averaged 77 percent in Freddie Mac's monthly refi survey, and the ARM share of applications was 6 percent in Freddie Mac's monthly ARM survey, which includes purchase-money as well as refinance applications.

Freddie Mac was established by Congress in 1970 to provide liquidity, stability and affordability to the nation's residential mortgage markets. Freddie Mac supports communities across the nation by providing mortgage capital to lenders. Today Freddie Mac is making home possible for one in four homebuyers and is one of the largest sources of financing for multifamily housing. www.FreddieMac.com.

SOURCE Freddie Mac

For further information: Chad Wandler, +1-703-903-2446, Chad_Wandler@freddiemac.com
 

The financial and other information contained in the documents that may be accessed on this page speaks only as of the date of those documents. The information could be out of date and no longer accurate. Freddie Mac does not undertake an obligation, and disclaims any duty, to update any of the information in those documents. Freddie Mac's future performance, including financial performance, is subject to various risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from expectations. The factors that could affect the company's future results are discussed more fully in our reports filed with the SEC.


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