SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Elizabeth White, Yeshim Deniz, Pat Romanski, Nikita Ivanov, Sean Houghton

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Low Cash-Out Share, Shorter Terms Point to Equity Build-Up

MCLEAN, VA -- (Marketwired) -- 04/30/14 -- Freddie Mac (OTCQB: FMCC) today released the results of its first quarter 2014 quarterly refinance analysis, showing that borrowers will save on net more than $1 billion in interest payments over the coming year as they continue to shorten their payment terms and build equity in their homes.

News Facts

  • Of borrowers who refinanced during the first quarter of 2014, 39 percent shortened their loan term, up slightly from the previous quarter and the highest since 1992.

  • In the first quarter, an estimated $6.5 billion in net home equity was cashed out during a refinance of conventional prime-credit home mortgages, largely unchanged from the previous quarter and $2 billion less than the same time one year ago. The peak in cash-out refinance volume was $84 billion during the second quarter of 2006.

  • In aggregate, U.S. home equity grew by an estimated $2.1 trillion during 2013, according to the Federal Reserve Board's Flow of Funds data. Much of this gain was attributable to home value gains.

  • The average mortgage interest rate reduction in the first 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 first 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 83 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. 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.

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

"Roughly 17 percent of borrowers who refinanced in the first quarter chose to extract home equity versus 14 percent from the same time last year. This is well below the peak cash-out share of 89 percent the market experienced in the third quarter of 2006. However, even with the slight increase in the cash-out share, it's still $2 billion less compared to first quarter of last year simply because the refinance share of originations continues to plummet."

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 FreddieMac.com, Twitter @FreddieMac and Freddie Mac's blog FreddieMac.com/blog.

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