Freddie Mac’s survey of what mortgage lenders reported for conforming rates last week revealed that mortgage interest rates trended lower. You can see based on the chart below that rates have been bouncing in a tight range, remaining below 4%.
This morning, Freddie Mac released their weekly mortgage rate report confirming that the 30 year fixed conforming rate is back to record lows from 19 months ago:
Every week, Freddie Mac releases their Prime Mortgage Market Survey (PMMS) based on a survey a mix of 125 lenders on what committed mortgage rates and points were during the previous week. Based on Freddie Mac’s report, the average rate for a 30 year fixed rate mortgage averaged 3.80 percent with an average 0.6 points. This is down from last week when it averaged 3.93 percent. A year ago at this time, the 30-year averaged 4.47 percent.
Freddie Mac’s Home Possible Mortgage is a great mortgage program designed for first time home buyers. What’s so special about this program is that it allows a home buyer to qualify for dramatically reduced mortgage insurance premiums with a minimum down payment. The down payment may be gifted by a family member. No reserves are required for a single family dwelling.
I’m pleased to share with you that we are working with lenders who are once again offering HARP 2.0 refinances with no appraisals (no loan to value requirements). Last year, our Freddie Mac resource for loan to values over 105% decided to pull out of the market, we now have another lender who is offering this product without loan to values overlays. This is great news for Washington state home owners who have lost equity in their homes (are underwater) and have a mortgage securitized by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac prior to June 1, 2009.
We also received updated guidelines from one of our Freddie Mac HARP lenders for loan to values 105% and lower offering reduced income documentation and expanded debt-to-income ratio guidelines. It’s nice to see lenders loosen up a bit on some of their underwriting overlays!
Fannie Mae HARP refinances are still readily available.
HARP 2.0 Refinances are available for:
- mortgages that were securitized by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac prior to June 1, 2009
- primary residence, second/vacation homes or investment property
- mortgages that have not yet taken advantage of the HARP refinance program
- existing private mortgage insurance (including LPMI) is allowed in most circumstances
I am required to use the following language if I am soliciting business…and of course, I would love to help you with your HARP (or any) refinance for your home located in Washington State:
Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae have adopted changes to the Home Affordable Refinance program (HARP) and you may be eligible to take advantages of these changes. If your mortgage is owned or guaranteed by either Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae, you may be eligible to refinance your mortgage under the enhanced and expanded provisions of HARP. You can determine whether your mortgage is owned by either Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae by checking the following websites: www.freddiemac.com/mymortgage or http://www.fanniemae.com/loanlookup
NOTE: If your Washington state home currently has an FHA mortgage, owner occupied or investment property, we can help you refinance without an appraisal – regardless of your home’s current value.
I’m happy to help you with your home refinance or purchase needs as long as your home is located in Washington state, where I’m licensed to originate mortgages. For mortgage rate quotes for homes other than HARP, please click here.
Last week, Freddie Mac issued a press release stating they plan on improving the guidelines for Freddie Mac’s HARP 2.0 program – Refi Relief and Open Access (more commonly known as HARP 2.0). Freddie Mac HARP refi’s have proven to be more challenging to successfully process and close than Fannie Mae’s HARP 2.0 refi program.
At Mortgage Master Service Corporation, we are closing both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac HARP 2.0 refinances. We have fewer lenders who offer Freddie Mac’s program due to their current program guidelines. This announcement from Freddie Mac is a big relief!
From Paul Mullings, Senior Vice President and Interim Head of Single Family at Freddie Mac:
“Once implemented the changes will give lenders a new measure of certainty and ease when they help borrowers with Freddie Mac owned- or guaranteed- mortgages take advantage of today’s historically low mortgage rates. This will help us build on the success of the HARP 2.0 and Relief Refinance Mortgage programs of helping more than 1.3 million Freddie Mac borrowers…”
This means that if you have been previously turned down for a Freddie Mac HARP 2.0 refinance, you may have another shot in a couple months.
Watch for an announcement around mid-September with more details to follow. To stay informed, subscribe to my blog!
UPDATE September 18, 2012: Click here to check out the improvements to HARP 2.0.