Lenders and banks originated approximately 1.6 million loans on single-family homes and condos in the first quarter, a dip of 6 percent from the previous quarter and a 17 percent jump from a year ago, according to RealtyTrac’s first quarter U.S. Residential Loan Origination Report.

Lenders and banks originated approximately 1.6 million loans on single-family homes and condos in the first quarter, a dip of 6 percent from the previous quarter and a 17 percent jump from a year ago, according to RealtyTrac’s first quarter U.S. Residential Loan Origination Report.

The first quarter’s total loan volume of $377 billion represents a 1 percent downshift from the previous quarter and a 32 percent jump from a year ago.

Refinance loans accounted for more than two-thirds (67.8 percent) of the $377 billion in loans originated in the first three months of the year, marking the third quarter in a row that the proportion of refinance loan volume has increased.

The 471,822 purchase loan originations in the quarter represented a drop of 25 percent from the fourth quarter and a 1 percent increase from a year ago.

The 1,080,043 refinance originations in the first quarter marked an increase of 6 percent from the previous quarter and an increase of 27 percent from a year ago.

“A dip in interest rates early in the year combined with lowered mortgage insurance premiums for (Federal Housing Administration) loans breathed some life back into the refinancing market in the first quarter,” said Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac, in a statement.

Metro areas* with biggest annual increase in loan originations in the first quarter

Metro Change in number of loan originations
San Jose, Califoria 72%
San Diego 64%
Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, California 64%
Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, Florida 61%
Boston 54%

Source: RealtyTrac *Of those with a population of at least 500,000

Approximately 64 percent of the loans originated in the first quarter were backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, also referred to as “conventional.” That’s a decrease of 5 percent from the previous quarter but an increase of 13 percent from a year ago.

In the conventional loan category: FHA loan originations accounted 12.9 percent of all loan originations in the quarter; Veterans Administration loan originations accounted for 6.4 percent of all loan originations in the quarter; and Home Equity Lines of Credit accounted for 15.4 percent of all loan originations in the quarter.

Email Paul Hagey.

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