Mortgage Daily

Published On: January 18, 2018

The balance of first-lien home loans outstanding is nearing the all-time high established at the start of the crisis. The trend is down, however, for home-equity products.

At the conclusion of July, there were 50.1 million U.S. first mortgages
that were outstanding with a collective unpaid principal balance of $8.87 trillion.

The nation’s latest book of first mortgages stands not far from the all-time record established in 2008,
when there were $9.04 trillion in first-lien loans in place.

Equifax provided the statistics in its
National Consumer Credit Trends Report.

Unlike first mortgages, the aggregate unpaid principal balances of home-equity loans declined — by 13.7 percent between July 2017 and July 2018.

Also retreating were outstanding balance on home-equity lines of credit, off 5.0 percent from a year earlier to $416 billion. HELOCs peaked at $677 billion in May 2009.

Although purchase financing has been weaker than expected, refinances have been a little stronger.

“Home sales continue to disappoint, due to tight inventories and increased construction costs,” Equifax Deputy Chief Economist Gunnar Blix said in the report, “but mortgage refinance has been slightly stronger than expected.”

From the period that started on Jan. 1, 2018, and finished on May 31, there were 311,900 HELs originated. That was 7.4 percent stronger that the same five months last year.

HELOC originations amounted to 555,300 units, down 4.4 percent from a year earlier.

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