2018 HMDA Data Show Slight Increase in Home Purchase Loans

The Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council today released the 2018 Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data on mortgage lending transactions at 5,683 financial institutions. The data encompasses 12.9 million mortgage applications, 7.7 million of which resulted in loan originations. Of these, 10.3 million were the closed-end loans previously required to be reported under HMDA and 2.3 million were open-end loans, such as home equity lines of credit, now reported under expanded data collection requirements.

The total number of originated loans fell by 12.6% from 2017 to 2018. Of these, refinances fell by 23.1%, and home purchase loan originations rose by 0.3%. The HMDA data showed that low-to-moderate-income borrowers accounted for 28.1% of single-family, owner-occupied home purchases—up from 26.3% in 2017. LMI borrowers also accounted for 30% of single-family refis, up more than 7 percentage points from 2017.

Black borrowers account for 6.7% of single-family home purchase loans in 2018, up from 6.4% the year before. Home purchase loan shares also increased by 10 basis points each for Hispanic (8.9%) and Asian-American (5.9%) borrowers. Black borrowers increased their share of refis, while the share of refis originated to Asians fell and to Hispanics held steady.

Overall, loans backed by the Federal Housing Administration, Department of Veterans Affairs or federal farm programs accounted for 32 percent of all new mortgages in 2018, down slightly from 35.4% the year before. FHA market share declined while VA loan share held steady. The FHA and VA shares of refinances dipped. Meanwhile, nondepository lenders continued to expand their market share, accounting for 57.2% of single-family home purchase loans in 2018, up from 56.1% the year before.

In releasing the data, the FFIEC agencies issued a clear statement of the limitations of publicly available HMDA data for fair lending examinations. “HMDA data alone cannot be used to determine whether a lender is complying with fair lending laws,” the statement said. “The data do not include some legitimate credit risk considerations for loan approval and loan pricing decisions.”