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Q1 Loan Origination Dollar Volume at Three-Year Low

Phil Hall
May 25, 2017
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More than 1.4 million loans were originated on residential properties—one to four units—during the first quarter, according to new statistics from ATTOM Data Solutions. This is a 30 percent decline from the previous quarter and a 21 percent drop from a year ago. The total dollar volume of loan originations in the first quarter fell by 21 percent from a year ago to $347.9 billion, which is the lowest since the first quarter of 2014.
 
The first quarter saw the origination of 513,350 purchase loans, down 29 percent from the previous quarter and down 18 percent from a year ago. The total dollar volume of purchase originations in the first quarter was $136.6 billion, down 27 percent from the previous quarter and down 14 percent from a year ago to the lowest level since the first quarter of 2014.
 
More declines were recorded on the refinance side of the industry: 675,899 refinance loans were originated in the first quarter, down 36 percent from the previous quarter and down 22 percent from the first quarter of 2016. The total dollar volume of refinance originations in the first quarter was $167.9 billion, down 39 percent from the previous quarter and down 26 percent from a year ago to the lowest level since the first quarter of 2006—the earliest that data is available in this report.
 
“Rising mortgage rates made qualifying for a home purchase more difficult and refinancing an existing home loan less attractive in the first quarter,” said Daren Blomquist, senior vice president at ATTOM Data Solutions. “Refinance originations in particular fell off a cliff in the first quarter to the lowest level in more than 10 years after posting double-digit percentage increases in the third and fourth quarters of 2016, indicating that some refinance demand was pulled forward late last year in anticipation of rising interest rates.”
 
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