As Refis Dry Up, Mortgage Originations Fall in 2017, HMDA Data Shows

The Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council today released the 2017 Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data on mortgage lending transactions at 5,852 financial institutions. The data encompasses 12.1 million mortgage applications.

Overall, the data showed that total mortgage loan originations declined 12.4 percent to 7.3 million in 2017. This decrease was due to a sharp fall in refinance originations, which fell to 2.5 million as interest rates rose during 2017 from 3.8 million the year before. Meanwhile, originations on loans secured by one- to four-family properties rose from 4 million in 2016 to 4.2 million in 2017. The number of first-lien, owner-occupied home-purchase originations also rose to 3.7 million in 2017, reaching its highest mark since 2007.

Loans backed by the Federal Housing Administration, Veterans Administration or federal farm programs accounted for 36 percent of all new mortgages in 2017, down from 39 percent in 2016 and well below the peak of 54 percent in 2009. The HMDA data also showed that black borrowers increased their share of originations for the fourth consecutive year, while originations among Hispanic borrowers held steady. Together, black and Hispanic borrowers accounted for just over 15 percent of all originations, with Asian Americans accounting for 5.8 percent — up slightly from 2016.

“Higher-priced” loans — those with APRs that exceed prime offer rates by 1.5 points for first-lien loans — accounted for 8.4 percent of home-purchase loans in 2017, up from 7.7 percent the year before.