Freddie Mac recently released their fourth-quarter refinance analysis and it shows that 85 percent of homeowners who refinanced their mortgages during the fourth quarter of 2011 maintained or reduced their principal balance by paying-in additional money at the closing table. Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac’s vice president and chief economist, said savvy homeowners are taking advantage of some of the lowest fixed-rates in more than 60 years to lock in interest savings. According to Nothaft, the typical borrower who refinanced during the fourth quarter reduced their interest rate by approximately 1.4 percentage points. During the fourth quarter, 37 percent of homeowners who refinanced their mortgage maintained about the same loan amount and 49 percent reduced their principal balance. The percentage of cash-in borrowers was the highest in the 26-year history of the analysis. More here.

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