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Outstanding First Mortgage Balances Near 10-Year Peak

Phil Hall
Apr 04, 2018
Outstanding first mortgage balances reached a total of $8.81 trillion in February

Outstanding first mortgage balances reached a total of $8.81 trillion in February, nearing the record high of $9.04 trillion set in 2008, according to data from the latest Equifax National Consumer Credit Trends Report.
But while balances were up, origination quantity was down. For the full-year 2017, 7.27 million first mortgages were originated, a 13.2 percent decline from the same period in 2016. In contrast, nearly 1.45 million home equity lines of credit and 771,300 home equity installment loans were originated for the same timeframe, representing 1.1 percent and 12.3 percent year-over-year increase, respectively.
"Despite nearing the pre-Great Recession peak in nominal terms, the market for first mortgages is in a much healthier place than in 2008, with low interest rates and normalized home prices supporting affordability" said Gunnar Blix, Deputy Chief Economist for Equifax.

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