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Freddie Mac 2014 Second Quarter Refinance Report

Cash-Out Refinancing Ticks Higher as Boom Ends

MCLEAN, VA -- (Marketwired) -- 07/29/14 -- Freddie Mac (OTCQB: FMCC) today released the results of its second quarter 2014 quarterly refinance analysis, showing that borrowers will save in aggregate more than $1 billion in interest payments over the coming year, as borrowers continued to shorten their payment terms and build equity in their homes.

News Facts

  • Of borrowers who refinanced during the second quarter of 2014, 40 percent shortened their loan term, approximately the same as the previous quarter and the highest since 1992.

  • In the second quarter, an estimated $7.8 billion in net home equity was cashed out during a refinance of conventional prime-credit home mortgages, up from the revised $5 billion last quarter. Adjusted for inflation, annual cash-out volumes during 2010 through 2013 have been the smallest since 1997.

  • In aggregate, U.S. home equity grew by an estimated $4.1 trillion during the two-year period through March 31, 2014. Much of this gain was attributable to home value gains.

  • The average mortgage interest rate reduction in the second quarter was about 1.4 percentage points -- or a savings of about 24 percent. On a $200,000 loan, that translates into interest savings of about $2,800 during the next 12 months. Homeowners who refinanced through HARP during the second quarter of 2014 benefited from an average mortgage interest rate reduction of 1.6 percentage points and will save an average of $3,200 in interest payments during the first 12 months, or about $260 every month.

  • About 79 percent of those who refinanced their first-lien home mortgage maintained approximately the same loan amount or lowered their principal balance by paying in additional money at the closing table, down 4 percent from the previous quarter. The peak was 88 percent during the second quarter of 2012.

  • The median age of the original loan outstanding before refinance increased to 7.3 years during the first quarter, the most since the analysis began in 1985 and unchanged from the previous quarter.

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

"The housing market realized a significant shift in the second quarter of this year as refinance activity fell below 50 percent marking the onset of the first purchase-dominated market the industry has seen since 2000 and an end to the refinance boom that started in late 2008. In this time we saw fixed mortgage rates hit all-time lows, with the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage falling well below 4 percent. We also estimate over 25 million American borrowers refinanced their loans to the tune of over $70 billion in total interest payment savings. However, since 2008 homeowners cashed-out approximately $215 billion in home equity, adjusted for inflation. The low level of cash-out refinance volume in the second quarter, despite the estimated $2.8 billion increase over last quarter, reflects how much home equity was lost during the Great Recession. Even with recent home price gains and rock-bottom interest rates, American households are not cashing out equity at rates we've seen historically. Regardless of the minimal level of cash-out refinance activity, when we couple it with lower mortgage rates and shorter terms homeowners have taken out through refinance over the past couple years, they have accelerated principal pay down and contributed to the rebound in home-equity accumulation."

About the Quarterly Refinance Report
These estimates come from a sample of properties on which Freddie Mac has funded two successive conventional, first-mortgage loans, and the latest loan is for refinance rather than for purchase. The analysis does not track the use of funds made available from these refinances. The analysis also does not track loans paid off in entirety, with no new loan placed. Some loan products, such as 1-year ARMs and balloons, are based on a small number of transactions.

With the report for the first quarter of 2013, the calculation of the principal balance at payoff of the previous loan has been modified. Previously, the payoff balance was calculated as the amount due based on the loan's amortization schedule, and "cash-in" was defined as a new loan amount that was less than the scheduled amortization amount. Data for 1994 to current have been recalculated using the actual payoff amount of the old loan, with an allowance for rounding down the principal at refinance; thus, from 1994 to present, "cash-in" is defined as a new loan amount that is at least $1,000 less than the payoff principal balance of the old loan. Data are presented under both methods for 1994 for comparison purposes.

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 home borrowers and is one of the largest sources of financing for multifamily housing. Additional information is available at, Twitter @FreddieMac and Freddie Mac's blog

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