43% of refinancings are `cash-out' deals, Freddie Mac reports

REAL ESTATE WATCH

May 16, 2004|By Chicago Tribune

The cha-ching, cha-ching, cha-ching of the home-equity cash register continues to resound throughout the land.

Mortgage giant Freddie Mac reported that 43 percent of its loans that were refinanced in the first quarter were of the "cash-out" variety, or for an amount at least 5 percent larger than the original mortgage. In the first quarter of 2003, about 33 percent of all refinanced Freddie-owned loans were to homeowners who were extracting some of the equity from their homes.

The average refinanced loan was 2 years old, Freddie said.

Freddie said its typical refinancer was getting a rate that was 1 percentage point lower than his or her previous loan. On an average loan size of $150,000, that reduced the monthly payment by $100.

Just 11 percent of its re-fi's were for mortgages smaller than the original loans.

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