The real estate tracking firm the Warren Group is at it again, reporting that total Massachusetts mortgage activity has increased more than 28 percent for this year compared to the same period last year. Although home sales have added to the increase, the real news in the increased numbers is the refinance mortgage activity, according to the group's CEO, Timothy Warren.
The historically low interest rates along with the revised federal program called the Home Affordable Refinance Program, or HARP, have led more homeowners to refinance into lower mortgage payments. In fact, the numbers speak for themselves; so far this year, 86 percent of all mortgages were refinances, up from 84.5 percent for this time last year. Refinanced mortgages increased 32 percent over last year for a total of 85,721.
And mortgages generated through the purchase of a home rose almost 13 percent for the first four months of this year. Overall, pending home sales have increased for 13 months straight, which is good news for the Massachusetts housing market. Although many homeowners may find the refinancing game rather tricky in today's tough lending environments, these figures do show it is possible to refinance your mortgage.
Restrictions abound in the federal and state programs available to struggling homeowners however, and understanding the qualifications and requirements for the various mortgage products can be difficult for many. Consider consulting with a residential real estate attorney who assists homeowners and residential real estate buyers and sellers with a variety of mortgage and refinancing services as well as resolving deed and title issues involved in the more complex real estate transactions.
Source: National Public Radio 90.9 WBUR, "Led By Refinances, Mortgage Activity Up In Mass.," June 12, 2012