The mortgage industry is booming

Lenders issued $2.4 trillion in home loans last year

TRD NATIONAL /
Jan.January 24, 2020 06:00 PM
Refinancings spur mortgages to record high

Refinancings spur mortgages to record high

Now sure is a great time to be a mortgage lender – they issued $2.4 trillion in home loans last year, which was the most since 2006.

In fact, the $2.4 trillion was a 46 percent increase from 2018, according to industry research group Inside Mortgage Finance.

Many homeowners are looking to refinance their mortgages after the Federal Reserve lowered interest rates three times last year. Lowering interest rates also makes other asset classes such as bonds less attractive, which has caused investors to turn to higher-income producing assets like real estate.

The news comes as a reprieve to the housing market, which reported signs of a slow down in 2018 after years of home price gains.

Overall, refinancings made up 38 percent of mortgage originations last year, according to the Wall Street Journal, which cited data from the Mortgage Bankers Association. The mortgage jump also aligns with December sales of existing homes, which rose nearly 11 percent from the year before, according to the National Association of Realtors.

The housing market still faces pressing challenges including rising construction costs and a limited supply of entry level single-family homes. Rising construction costs, particularly labor costs, have shrunk homebuilders margins which makes them less incentivized to build affordably-priced homes for first time buyers.

A jump in mortgage lending is generally a good sign for the housing market, but some academics and regulators are concerned about the rise in nonbank mortgage lending. Nonbank residential mortgage companies like Quicken Loans and LoanDepot now originate a majority of the residential mortgages in the U.S., compared to a decade ago when traditional banks dominated the space and are more regulated than nonbanks. [WSJ]Keith Larsen


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
The 30-year fixed-rate average fell to 3.45 percent (Credit: iStock)

US mortgage rates hit 3-year low

Some investors continue to find U.S. commercial real estate as attractive places to park their capital (Credit: iStock)

Brexits and Bubbles: How investors view Europe’s shaky real estate market

The bank is accused of systematically trying to foreclose on mortgages after the state’s six-year statute of limitations had passed. (Credit: iStock)

BNY Mellon faces suit over foreclosures from the housing crash

Seattle, Washington (Credit: iStock)

Good luck buying an affordable home in these US cities

They’re just like us! “Billionaire” manse buyer takes out $58M mortgage

They’re just like us! “Billionaire” manse buyer takes out $58M mortgage

Buyer sentiment was strong at the close of 2019 (Credit: iStock)

Home buyers start 2020 with drop in mortgage rates

(Credit: Getty Images, iStock)

Small Talk: Real Estate Predictions for 2020

Many are predicting a housing bubble (Credit: iStock)

Europe could be headed toward a housing crisis

arrow_forward_ios
Loading...