Year-to-date, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have refinanced nearly 800,000 loans through the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP), the Federal Housing Finance Agency reported Thursday.

Since HARP’s 2009 inception, the program has refinanced 1.8 million loans, with 790,619 of those loans refinanced in 2012 as of October.

In October alone, more than 81,613 homeowners were refinanced through the program, slightly lower than September,

 

when 90,789 loans were refinanced. In October 2011,HARP refinances stood at 33,565.

FHFA attributed the 2012 surge in HARP refinances to two factors: the low-mortgage rate environment and HARPprogram changes, one of which extended eligibility by removing the 125 percent LTV cap.

On Thursday, Freddie Mac reported the 30-year fixed rate was at 3.37 percent for the week ending December 20, while the 15-year rate averaged 2.65 percent.

A little less than half (45 percent) of the loans refinanced in October were underwater, meaning they had LTVs greater than 105 percent. Nearly one-fourth, or 23 percent, had LTVs greater than 125 percent.

HARP refinances were especially popular in hard-hit states. While HARP refinances nationwide accounted for 19 of the total refinance volume in October, in Nevada,HARP accounted for 57 percent of refinances. In Arizona and Georgia, HARP represented 40 percent of the refinance volume in October, and in Florida, HARPaccounted for 48 percent of the total.

In Nevada, Arizona, and Florida, underwater borrowers accounted for at least 67 percent of HARP refinances.