Residential Lending Sinks To Lowest Point Since 2000

Residential lending is down in two-thirds of the U.S. and sitting at its lowest level since 2000. That’s according to new data from ATTOM, which showed that 1.28 million mortgages secured by residential property were issued in Q1, a 6.8% decline from the previous quarter. It’s the 11th decline in the last 12 quarters and the lowest level in 24 years. Total lending activity is down 4.8% YOY and 69.3% from its high point in 2021. The declines impacted purchase, refi, and home equity lending activity. Purchase loan activity, in particular, was down nearly 10%, while home equity fell by 9%. Refinances, which were already constrained, saw just a 1.9% decrease. The first quarter soured many analysts’ hopes for a…

Equity Soars To Record $11 Trillion

The recent surge in home prices pushed U.S. homeowners’ tappable equity to a record $11 trillion. Prices were on a run in March, according to the ICE Home Price Index, up 1.2% and more than 25% above the 25-year average increase. This is the third straight month of above-average gains as stock shortages keep competition for limited homes high. As a result, mortgage holders’ equity shot to a record $16.9T in Q1, $11T of which can be leveraged while retaining a 20% equity cushion, both of which are all-time highs. “We’re still very much in a hole from an inventory perspective, but that deficit has fallen from 50% a year ago to 38% in March. Today, with 3.3 months of…

Price Appreciation Returns To Opportunity Zones

Low-income redevelopment zones continue to benefit from home price appreciation around the country, and some are faring better than their neighbors. ATTOM’s Q2 2023 review of low-income Opportunity Zones targeted by Congress for economic redevelopment found that 61% of the 3,909 data zones saw price increases. In half of those, prices were up 5% or more. Opportunity zones exist in and around low-income neighborhoods where the federal government offers tax breaks to advance economic development. Overall, these areas follow home price trends in other parts of the country. Values declined in the last half of 2022 before recovering in 2023, a pattern that has impacted most U.S. neighborhoods. But prices in many zones rose faster than the nationwide trend both…

Rising Property Taxes Add To Financial Stress For Homeowners

Property taxes are on the rise, another source of financial stress for Americans. According to new data released by ATTOM Data, total property taxes on single-family homes across the United States increased by 4% in 2022, totaling $340 billion.  This marks a significant increase from the previous year, with the average property tax bill for a single-family home rising to $3,719. Property taxes were highest in the Northeast, with New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut topping the list. The lowest were seen in the South, with Alabama, West Virginia, and Arkansas having the least expensive property taxes. Increasing taxes are an effect of soaring home prices, which have increased by 19% over the past year. Though homeowners have benefitted from…

Affordability Inched Up In Q1 2023 But Remains Elusive

Buying a house became slightly more affordable in Q1 2023 as the housing market remains stalled, but remained out of reach for many Americans. According to ATTOM Data Solution’s Q1 2023 U.S. Home Affordability Report, median-priced single-family homes and condos were less affordable in the first quarter of 2023 compared to historical averages in 94% of counties. This is a huge leap from the 62% of counties that were less affordable at the same time last year. The portion of average wages it takes to pay major homeownership costs decreased slightly to 30%. While this is still unaffordable by most lending standards, it’s a minor improvement from the 31% registered at year-end 2022. ATTOM calls this housing data a “mixed…

Seller Profits Broke 50% In 2022 Despite Market Downturn

Home seller return on investment rose to 51% at the end of 2022 despite slowing sales, new data from ATTOM shows. Sellers nationwide earned $112,000 on the typical sale in 2022, up 21% from 2021 and 78% from before the pandemic. Both raw profits and ROI have now improved across the country for 11 consecutive years. Ninety-eight percent of markets with enough data to analyze saw profits increase from 2021 to 2022. The latest number is the highest profit level seen by home sellers since at least 2008. Sellers in Southern and Western markets saw the highest ROI, led by Hilo, HI (100% ROI); Lake Havasu City-Kingman, AZ (88.4%); Spokane, WA (86.2%); Fort Myers, FL (85.4%) and Port St. Lucie,…

November Foreclosure Activity Up YOY But Slipped From October

Foreclosure activity fell 5% in November from the month prior, remaining lower than pre-pandemic levels, according to a new report from ATTOM Data. Foreclosure filings were up 57% YOY due to last year’s moratoriums pushing activity to near zero and pushing data to artificially scary highs.  But activity remains below what ATTOM considers normal levels. Starts and completions are both up annually as well, by 98% and 64%, respectively, but they too fell month-over-month. Though starts almost doubled YOY, they are just barely above 80% of pre-pandemic activity. “We may be at or near a peak level of foreclosure activity for 2022,” said Rick Sharga, executive vice president of market intelligence at ATTOM. “We may continue to see below-normal foreclosure…

Originations See Largest YOY Decline In Two Decades

Mortgage originations saw their largest annual decline in 21 years, further evidence that the housing boom is coming to an end. Originations fell 47% YOY in Q3, according to ATTOM Data’s Q3 2022 U.S. Residential Property Mortgage Origination Report. Quarter-over-quarter they were down 19%, the sixth consecutive drop. Lenders issued a total of $636.5 billion worth of mortgages in Q3. By dollar count, that’s down 22% from Q2 and 46% YOY. It’s the largest dip in loan dollar volume since at least 2001. HELOC lending increased for the fifth time in six quarters, but the boost was overwhelmed by the slump in purchase and refinance origination. “There are no surprises in this quarter’s loan origination numbers, as the unprecedented jump…