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Led by low refi occurrences, U.S. loan originations are dropping

RealtyTrac report shows that despite overall drop, purchase and HELOC are loans up
  • The primary reason for the drop is due to low occurrences of refinance originations, according to the report.
  • HELOC originations are strong in the South and West Coast regions of the U.S.
  • Midwest and East Coast purchase loans boosted more than 10 percent since 2015.
  • For the fifth consecutive quarter, FHA loan share rose.

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RealtyTrac recently released its U.S. Residential Property Loan Origination Report, revealing 1.4 million residential loans originated in the first quarter of 2016 -- down 12 percent from the prior quarter and 8 percent from one year ago. These figures are the lowest they’ve been since the first quarter of 2014. However, the primary reason for the drop is due to low occurrences of refinance originations, according to the report. “After a surprisingly strong 2015, the mortgage refi market started running out of steam in the first quarter of 2016 despite lower mortgage interest rates,” said Daren Blomquist, senior vice president of RealtyTrac. The biggest year-over-year refi drops were seen in Cincinnati, Philladelphia, Milwaukee, Raleigh and Salt Lake City, which all posted percentages ranging from negative 35 to 29 percent. Chicago refi rates dipped 26 percent in the first quarter. Purchase originations increased 3 percent year-over-year nationally, with Ho...