Despite housing market slowdown, mortgage lenders just had a great second quarter

Lenders made more than $500B worth of loans, a more than two-year high
July 29, 2019 01:30PM

(Credit: iStock)

(Credit: iStock)

The second quarter of the year saw $565 billion worth of mortgage loans as homeowners are increasingly eager to refinance thanks to falling rates.

If the lending keeps up at this pace, it could mark just the third year since the recession where originations exceed $2 trillion, according to the Wall Street Journal, citing data from Inside Mortgage Finance.

Large banks like JPMorgan, Wells Fargo and Citigroup all reported an increase in mortgage originations, and smaller independent lenders also did well.

About half of new mortgages were because of refinancings, and refinance applications rose by 43 percent in the second quarter compared to last year.

Meanwhile, the amount of people paying off their mortgages also increased, according to Zillow data. Over the past decade, homeowners finishing their payments went up by 5.5 percentage points, and now about 37 percent have no mortgage.

Overall, however, the housing market is still showing signs of slowing down thanks to prohibitively high prices, but lower rates also provided an opening for some people who had been trying to buy.

“I was so scared of being in a situation where I took on this house and then right away was having money worries,” recent homeowner Laura Poole told the Journal. “So for me my biggest focus when purchasing a house was the projected monthly payment.” [WSJ] — Eddie Small