An analysis of the government’s revamped Home Affordable Refinance Program expects it to be helpful in the hardest hit housing markets, while doing little to address the shadow inventory or number of distressed borrowers. Mark Fleming, chief economist for CoreLogic, says the revised HARP program is certain to benefit many more borrowers than it would have otherwise and will largely impact the housing markets and local economies with the largest shares of insufficient and negative equity borrowers. Despite the positive aspects of the plan, because it only offers potentially lower mortgage payments but doesn’t reduce principal, borrowers will continue to hold mortgages that are higher than the value of their homes. Fleming says there are no silver bullets to solve the issues facing housing but sees the HARP program leading to as many as 2 million refinanced loans. More here and here.

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