There is nothing new about Freddie Mac's "new streamlined, easy refinance" program announced in August, Barclays Capital analysts said in a report released today.
In fact, analysts said that the program has been around since at least early 2009. "The impact of this program has already been fully reflected in actual prepayments during the past year, and the fact that speeds have been so slow says a lot about how ineffective this program is in terms of getting people to refinance," analysts said.
Some market participants interpreted the August announcement as an effort to significantly boost prepayment speeds in the coming months. However, Barclays analysts said that the program has several significant hurdles that must first be addressed.
"These constraints explain why this program has yet to make a dent on prepayments," explained analysts.
They added that the sheer difference between the speeds of 1Q09-originated Gold 5s and those originated in later 2009 clearly demonstrates that this program has been much less effective than even the Home Affordable Refinance Program or HARP, "which has massively underperformed people's expectations to begin with," said analysts.
"In summary, the Freddie Mac streamlined refinancing program has not worked and should not work in its current form," they concluded.