April 29, 2019
Late 2018 Mortgage Originations Lowest in Four Years
In Q4 of 2018, the number of mortgage originations fell from the previous quarter, according to the most recent quarterly report on the topics of household debt and credit released by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. While in Q3 the amount of mortgage originations came in at around $445 billion, Q4 saw only $401 billion—which makes it the lowest amount in originations the market has seen in about four years.
Home equity lines of credit (HELOCs) were also hit hard, continuing a downward trend in which this sector lost $10 billion and wound up at only $412 billion, which puts them at a low level we have not seen in 14 years (they have been decreasing, on average, since 2009).
At the same time, household debt rose for the 18th quarter in a row—and has now exceeded its previous peak (in Q3 2008, when it stood at $12.68 trillion) by a full $869 billion, a 6.9 percent increase over that previous number.
Mortgage balances, meanwhile, totaled around $9.1 trillion in Q4 2018, which is roughly the same place they stood in Q3. Mortgage delinquencies remained flat as well. Only about 1 percent of current mortgage balances had transitioned into delinquency; of these, only about 14.8 percent of mortgages that had fallen into early delinquency (which is defined as being 30-60 days late) had transitioned into serious (more than 90 day) delinquency. Only 1.1 percent of mortgage balances were delinquent by more than 90 days in Q3 (the last quarter for which there were verifiable statistics)
On the foreclosure front, the number rose slightly from Q3 to Q4—about 68,000 new foreclosure notations were reported–but all told, foreclosures remain at a historic low, which means that for the most part people are proving capable of making their monthly payments.
So if you are looking to buy a home, we here at Topouzis & Associates, P.C. utilize our considerable expertise ensure our clients are conveying and purchasing property title clear of judgments and defects. We also help our clients put into place a good policy of title insurance to make certain they don’t get surprised by any nasty lurking issues with a property. Contact us if you’d like us to do this for you.