ATTOM Data Solutions reports that 1.07 million refinance mortgages were secured by residential properties during Q1 2020.
This is a 16% decline from Q4 2019, but an annual increase of 87%. Near record-low interest rates led to $328.5 billion in total refinance volume during Q1 2020, which is a year-over-year increase of 105%.
Refinance loans accounted for 55.7% of all 1.92 million loans during Q1 2020—unchanged from the 55.9% of loans during Q4 2019, but up from Q1 2019’s 41.3%.
“Home-loan data was way up again in the first quarter of the year, with refinancing activity again accounting for more than half the total volume of mortgages. The number and dollar value of home loans marked yet another sign of how charged up the U.S. housing market continued to be in the early months of the year when everything was still pointing in the right direction,” said Todd Teta, Chief Product Officer at ATTOM Data Solutions. “Unfortunately, that is all uncertain now due to the economic fallout from the virus pandemic that could throw the market into a downturn. But at least the market heads that uncertainty with some of the strongest home loans—and by extension, overall market—numbers since the aftermath of the last recession.”
Residential refinance mortgage originations increase annually in 186 of the 192 cities that have populations more than 200,000. The highest increases were reported in Chicago (129.3%); Los Angeles (115.9%); Dallas-Fort Worth (87%); New York (71.2%); and Housing (53.1%).
The share of refinances fell in six of the 192 cities studied: McAllen, Texas (-29.3%); Beaumont, Texas (-13.4%); Syracuse, New York (-1%); Amarillo, Texas (-0.4%); and Youngstown, Ohio (-0.4%).
Lenders originated 606,703 residential purchases mortgages in Q1 2020, which is down 12% from the prior quarter but up 14% from Q1 2019.
Purchase originations rose annually in 119 of the 192 metros studied that have a population greater than 200,000.
The largest increases were in Savannah, Georgia (299%); Lafayette, Louisiana (230.9%); South Bend, Indiana (143.4%); Los Angeles (121.7%), and Ventura, California (115.5%).
However, the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) reported that mortgage applications fell 2.6% from the week prior to the week ending on May 15.
"Government purchase applications, which include FHA, VA, and USDA loans, are now 5% higher than a year ago, which is an encouraging turnaround after the weakness seen over the past two months,” said Joel Kan, MBA's AVP of Economic and Industry Forecasting. “As states gradually reopen and both home buyer and seller activity increases, we will be closely watching to see if these positive trends continue, or if they reflect shorter-term, pent-up demand."