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RealtyTrac: Loan origination climbs on a yearly basis

Posted on Tuesday, May 19, 2015 at 7:49:29 AM

Low residential financing rates and affordable home prices have helped out the housing market in a big way: Loan origination is on the rise.

According to RealtyTrac, there were more than 1.5 million loans originated for single-family homes and condos during the first three months of 2015. That is up 17 percent from the same time in 2014. However, it is down slightly from the fourth quarter of 2014, partly due to seasonal trends, as well as rising interest rates and homes prices.

Not only that, but the lower interest rates in early 2015 also led to an increase in refinancing. Refinance originations were up 6 percent on a quarter-to-quarter basis and 27 percent year-over-year.

"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.

In addition, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported that mortgage applications for new homes were steady between March and April, while builder applications increased 16 percent on a yearly basis. Overall, conventional loans made up 67 percent of all loan applications.