U.S. Residential Loan Originations Increase 17 Percent in Q1 From a Year Ago Despite 6 Percent Drop From Previous Quarter

Purchase Originations Increase Less Than 1 Percent, Refinance Originations Up 27 Percent;
VA Originations Up 57 Percent, HELOCs Up 32 Percent, FHA Up 18 Percent

IRVINE, Calif. – May 14, 2015 — RealtyTrac® (www.realtytrac.com), the nation’s leading source for comprehensive housing data, today released its Q1 2015 U.S. Residential Loan Origination Report, which shows that 1,551,865 loans were originated on single family homes and condos in the first quarter, down 6 percent from the previous quarter but up 17 percent from a year ago.

Total dollar volume of loans originated in the first quarter was $377 billion, down 1 percent from the previous quarter but up 32 percent from a year ago. Refinance originations represented nearly $256 billion in the first quarter, 67.8 percent of total loan origination dollar volume, and purchase loan originations represented $121 billion, 32.2 percent of total origination dollar volume. As a share of total loan origination dollar volume, purchase originations reached a recent peak of 49.2 percent in the second quarter of 2014 followed by three consecutive quarters of decreasing share.

Of the nearly 1.6 million loan originations in the first quarter, 471,822 were purchase loan originations, down 25 percent from the previous quarter and up less than 1 percent from a year ago. There were 1,080,043 refinance originations in the first quarter, an increase of 6 percent from the previous quarter and an increase of 27 percent from a year ago.

“A dip in interest rates early in the year combined with lowered mortgage insurance premiums for FHA loans breathed some life back into the refinancing market in the first quarter,” said Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac. “Meanwhile the purchase loan market remained largely missing in action despite tepid growth from a year ago. The prime buying season still remains ahead, providing some hope that first-time homebuyers and other traditional buyers relying on traditional financing will come out in the woodwork in greater numbers in the coming months.”

Markets with biggest increases in loan originations in California, Florida, Massachusetts

Metro areas with a population of at least 500,000 and the biggest increase in loan originations from a year ago were San Jose (up 72 percent), San Diego (up 64 percent), Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, California (up 64 percent), Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, Florida (up 61 percent), and Boston (up 54 percent).

Other major markets among the top 20 for biggest year-over-year increase in loan originations included Salt Lake City (up 53 percent), San Francisco (up 49 percent), Los Angeles (up 48 percent), Denver (up 44 percent), Seattle (up 40 percent), Portland (up 39 percent), Bridgeport, Connecticut (up 38 percent), and Richmond, Virginia (up 35 percent).

Markets with biggest increases in purchase loan originations in Florida, Ohio, Missouri

Metro areas with a population of at least 500,000 and the biggest increase in purchase loan originations from a year ago were Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, Florida (up 72 percent), Dayton, Ohio (up 62 percent), Toledo, Ohio (up 36 percent), Tampa (up 32 percent), and Kansas City (up 32 percent).

Other major markets among the top 20 for biggest year-over-year increase in purchase loan originations from a year ago included Salt Lake City (up 18 percent), Orlando (up 17 percent), Atlanta (up 15 percent), Jacksonville, Florida (up 14 percent), St. Louis (up 13 percent), Miami (up 13 percent) and Phoenix (up 13 percent).

Loan origination increase led by VA, HELOC and FHA

There were a total of 995,968 conventional loan originations (backed by Fannie and Freddie) in the first quarter, representing 64.2 percent of all loan originations. Conventional loan originations decreased 5 percent from the previous quarter but were up 13 percent from a year ago. Conventional purchase loan originations in the first quarter decreased 27 percent from the previous quarter and were down 2 percent from a year ago, while conventional refinance originations increased 10 percent from the previous quarter and were up 21 percent from a year ago.

There were a total of 200,178 FHA loan originations in the first quarter, representing 12.9 percent of all loan originations. FHA loan originations increased 4 percent from the previous quarter and were up 18 percent from a year ago. FHA purchase loan originations in the first quarter decreased 19 percent from the previous quarter but were still up 5 percent from a year ago, while FHA refinance loan originations jumped 34 percent from the previous quarter and were up 30 percent from a year ago.

There were a total of 99,555 Veterans Administration loans originated in the first quarter, representing 6.4 percent of all loan originations. VA loan originations in the first quarter were down 5 percent from the previous quarter but up 57 percent from a year ago. VA purchase loan originations in the first quarter decreased 25 percent from the previous quarter but were still up 4 percent from a year ago, while VA refinance originations increased 12 percent from the previous quarter and were up 119 percent from a year ago.

There were a total of 238,359 Home Equity Lines of Credit originated in the first quarter, representing 15.4 percent of all loan originations. HELOC originations were down 17 percent from the previous quarter but still increased 32 percent from a year ago.

Report methodology
RealtyTrac analyzed recorded mortgage and deed of trust data for single family homes, condos and town homes for this report. Each recorded mortgage or deed of trust was counted as a separate loan origination. Dollar volume was calculated by multiplying the total number of loan originations by the average loan amount for those loan originations.

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About RealtyTrac
RealtyTrac is a leading provider of comprehensive U.S. housing and property data, including nationwide parcel-level records for more than 130 million U.S. properties. Detailed data attributes include property characteristics, tax assessor data, sales and mortgage deed records, distressed data, including default, foreclosure and auctions status, and Automated Valuation Models (AVMs). Sourced from RealtyTrac subsidiary Homefacts.com, the company’s proprietary national neighborhood-level database includes more than 50 key local and neighborhood level dynamics for residential properties, providing unrivaled pre-diligence capabilities and a parcel risk database for portfolio analysis. RealtyTrac’s data is widely viewed as the industry standard and, as such, is relied upon by real estate professionals and service providers, marketers and financial institutions, as well as the Federal Reserve, U.S. Treasury Department, HUD, state housing and banking departments, investment funds and tens of millions of consumers.

Media Contact:
Ginny Walker
949.502.8300, ext. 268
Ginny.walker@realtytrac.com

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