2011 Marked Least Active Year for Mortgages since 1995, Says New Study
Last year, mortgage activity took a sharp hit, with activity for all types of home loans going down by 10 percent. This is based on a new study released Tuesday by the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council.
This also marked the lowest number of mortgages opened since 1995; the study specified that 780,000 less home loans regardless of type were opened in 2011. Contributing largely to this was a 13 percent slip in refinancing activity.
Lending for home purchases went down by 5 percent in 2011. All in all, only 7.1 million home loans were reported for the year 2011, the lowest since the 6.2 million recorded in 1995.
The Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council also stated that many borrowers are still dependent on Federal Housing Administration (FHA) mortgages. FHA mortgages, which once took up 7 percent share in 2007, made up 31 percent of all mortgages in 2011. This was down from the all-time highs of 37 percent and 36 percent set in 2009 and 2010 respectively.
Mortgage rates have been going down steadily for the past several months, and were, in fact, much higher early in 2011 than the present average rate. According to the weekly surveys of mortgage buyer Freddie Mac, 30-year fixed-rate mortgages were at 4.77 percent for the week ended January 6, 2011; this went down to 3.95 percent in 2011’s last survey, and is presently at 3.49 percent, which is the lowest on record for this type of mortgage.