HARP Statistics : Top 10 States For HARP Mortgages
Since it's late-2011 relaunch, the HARP refinance program has been a boon to the U.S. economy. Mortgage rates are at unprecedented levels and homeowners who would otherwise be unable to get access to today's low rates are capitalizing on the lowest mortgage rates of a lifetime.
Like all things in real estate, though, the effects of HARP are local. HARP mortgages are more common in some states than others. Not surprisingly, the states hardest hit by the housing downtown are the ones in which you'll find the most HARP applications.
HARP : Mortgages For Underwater Homeowners
HARP stands for Home Affordable Refinance Program. It's one arm of the government's 2009 program Making Home Affordable.
HARP was launched at a time when both mortgage rates and home values were falling. Scores of homeowners wanted to take advantage of the the day's low rates but were unable because their respective home equity levels had dropped below 20%.
"Sure, you can refinance", their lenders told them. "You'll just need to get mortgage insurance."
Unfortunately, high mortgage insurance rates wiped out the potential savings of a refinance, leaving homeowners locked out from the savings that a low mortgage rate could yield. The government recognized this and created HARP.
HARP is the mortgage for underwater homeowners. It allows U.S. households to refinance without incurring a change to their respective private mortgage insurance situation.
- If your home had 20% equity, you can HARP and not have to pay PMI
- If your home had less than 20% equity, you can HARP and not pay higher PMI rates
In other words, HARP allows you to refinance with no mind for mortgage insurance -- even if it's lender-paid MI. HARP has provisions for that, too.
The Home Affordable Refinance Program gives homeowners with good payment history access to low mortgage rates that a "traditional" mortgage program would disallow. HARP puts refinancing within reach of tens of millions of U.S. households.
Popular States For HARP Mortgage Requests
In October 2011, the government's refurbished and relaunched its flagship HARP refinance program.
The initial HARP put a loan-to-value cap of 125% on all mortgages. The new "HARP 2", by contrast, has no caps. It allows for an unlimited loan-to-value. As a result, homeowners are flocking to it -- especially in the states hardest hit by the housing downturn.
Since HARP 2 release, via Rate Quote Widget, this website has collected data from more than 26,000 would-be HARP applicants.
It shouldn't surprise us that homeowners in California ask for HARP more frequently than homeowners from any other state. California is not only the most populous state, but its home values have fallen farthest from the peaks of 2007. Big cities like San Diego, Los Angeles and Sacramento have endured losses, as have smaller cities like Fresno, Stockton and San Bernardino.
The top 10 states for HARP refinance requests are :
- California (18.39%)
- Florida (15.66%)
- Arizona (7.16%)
- Georgia (6.31%)
- Illinois (4.79%)
- Michigan (4.62%)
- Nevada (3.61%)
- Virginia (3.37%)
- Maryland (3.14%)
- Washington (2.94%)
It should be noted that this data is for HARP requests, and not for HARP completions. Many HARP applicants are finding it difficult to get approved -- especially those homeowners whose loan-to-value exceeds 125%. The nation's largest lenders appear to be snubbing high-LTV HARP applicants.
Meanwhile, at the other end of the spectrum, North Dakota accounts for the fewest HARP inquiries, registering just 0.01% of all HARP requests. This is consistent with the North Dakota housing market which has showed slow, steady gains over the last decade or so. Homeowners with equity have little need for HARP.
Get HARP Mortgage Rates
The HARP program was launched in 2009, relaunched in 2011, and is gearing up for a third iteration later this year. Still in talks in Congress, HARP 3 is being called the #MyRefi program. It aims to help homeowners whose mortgages fall outside of current HARP requirements. This may include homeowners with privately-owned, Alt-A mortgages; and homeowners whose mortgages don't meet HARP cut-off dates, for example.
To see how HARP can help you, get started with a rate quote. Mortgage rates are low.