Fannie Mae Refinancing Volume Largest Since 2003

Fannie Mae’s (FNM) refinancing volume jumped to $77 billion in March, nearly twice the refinancing volume it experienced during the month of February and its largest refinance month since 2003, the company said Tuesday. “The volumes we are seeing are very encouraging,” said Tom Lund, executive vice president, Single-Family Mortgage Business. “A majority of our business volume in March was in refinanced loans, and we anticipate that volumes will increase even more as millions of additional homeowners become eligible to refinance under the President’s Making Home Affordable plan.” The Making Home Affordable program is made up of two levels of aid — one being a refinance program effective for an estimated 4 to 5 million homeowners. And Given the recent historically low mortgage rates, homeowners have a strong incentive to try and refinance. The Mortgage Bankers Association reported last week that refinance applications rose 3.7 percent, with refinance interest rising to 79.1 percent of total applications, from an already high 78.5 percent the prior week. Fannie Mae launched a Home Affordable Refinance initiative last month as part of the President’s Making Home Affordable plan. “Providing broader access to affordable, sustainable mortgages through expanded refinancing opportunities is a critical part of preventing future foreclosures and hastening recovery,” Lund said. The company reported Tuesday that over 500,000 borrowers have accessed its online assistance, thus far, to inquire about their eligibility for refinancing under Obama’s plan, and more than 80,000 callers have contacted Fannie Mae’s national hotline since the plan was announced. Fannie Mae also said, as of April 4, the 1,600 lenders and 29,000 mortgage brokers using its Desktop Underwriter platform can efficiently process an application to refinance an existing Fannie Mae loan. “This will allowing for greater lender origination capacity and easier refinancing for borrowers,” — as the volume has clearly climbed. Write to Kelly Curran at Disclosure: The author held no relevant investment positions when this story was published. Indirect holdings may exist via mutual fund investments. HW reporters and writers follow a strict disclosure policy, the first in the mortgage trade

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