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First Mortgages on the Rise

loan applicationsFirst mortgage originations have increased steadily, according to the Equifax National Consumer Credit Trends Report. According to the report, 2.77 million first mortgages originated year-to-date through May 2018, or $689.8 billion in total dollars. Additionally, the study covered auto loans and banking.

"The strong showing in the second quarter of 2018, with real GDP growth at a 4.2 percent annual rate, has revived the auto market and sent consumers spending," said Gunnar Blix, Deputy Chief Economist, Equifax. "Sales of new vehicles have been running ahead of expectations for the first seven months of the year—currently sales are 1.6 percent higher than last year at this time. Home sales continue to disappoint, due to tight inventories and increased construction costs, but mortgage refinance has been slightly stronger than expected."

According to the report, home equity loan originations was up by over 7 percent, but the total dollar amount was down. Home equity loan balances are down by 7.2 percent as of July 2018, while there are 50.1 million outstanding first mortgage loans with total balances of $8.87 trillion, nearing the all-time high of $9.04 trillion recorded in 2008.

Other types of credit saw decreases, such as student loans. According to Equifax, the total dollar amount of student loans originated YTD is $31.8 billion, reflecting a 15.2 percent decrease from the previous year. Auto loans leases remained flat, though delinquencies have been increasing.

"The strong showing in the second quarter of 2018, with real GDP growth at a 4.2 percent annual rate, has revived the auto market and sent consumers spending," said Gunnar Blix, Deputy Chief Economist, Equifax. "Sales of new vehicles have been running ahead of expectations for the first seven months of the year—currently sales are 1.6 percent higher than last year at this time. Home sales continue to disappoint, due to tight inventories and increased construction costs, but mortgage refinance has been slightly stronger than expected."

About Author: Seth Welborn

Seth Welborn is a Harding University graduate with a degree in English and a minor in writing. He is a contributing writer for MReport. An East Texas Native, he has studied abroad in Athens, Greece and works part-time as a photographer.
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