HELOC Originations Up 32% Over Last Year, Despite Quarterly Dip

The number of loan originations — including home equity lines of credit (HELOCs) — increased in the first quarter of 2015 compared to the same period last year, despite quarter-over-quarter drops, according to the latest RealtyTrac housing and property data.

The 238,359 HELOCs originated in the first quarter of 2015 represented 15.4% of all loan originations. While HELOC originations were down 17% from the previous quarter, they still increased 32% from a year ago, the Residential Loan Origination Report indicates.

In total, the report shows that 1,551,865 loans were originated on single-family homes and condos in the first quarter, down 6% from the previous quarter, but up 17% from a year ago.

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Of the nearly 1.6 million originations, there were 1,080,043 refinance originations in the first quarter, an increase of 6% from the previous quarter and an increase of 27% from the same period last year.

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

Additionally, 471,822 were purchase loan originations —down 25% from the previous quarter and up less than 1% from a year ago.

“Meanwhile the purchase loan market remained largely missing in action despite tepid growth from a year ago,” Blomquist said. “The prime buying season still remains ahead, providing some hope that first-time homebuyers and other traditional buyers relying on traditional financing will come out of the woodwork in greater numbers in the coming months.”

Written by Emily Study