US residential mortgage originations dropped an eye-popping -32% in Q1 2022, according to ATTOM.

Overall Residential Lending Activity Plunged -32% Y/Y in Q1 2022

ATTOM’s Q1 2022 US Residential Property Mortgage Origination Report indicated that mortgage lending activity in the US dropped -32% y/y, the biggest annual decrease in mortgage activity since 2014.

Despite home-equity lending increasing during Q1 2022, Q1 was the fourth consecutive quarter in which double-digit drops in purchase and refinance activity occurred.  Lenders issued $892.4B worth of mortgages for 2.71M mortgages during Q1 2022, a quarterly decrease of -17% and an annual decrease of  -27%.  Just as with the number of loans, the quarterly and annual decreases in the dollar volume of loans were the largest in five and eight years, respectively.


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Drop in Refinance Activity Seen as Major Culprit

Refinance activity plunged -22% q/q and -46% y/y in Q1 2022.  Just 1.45M residential loans were transitioned into refinanced loans amid rising interest rates.  The dollar volume of refinance loans plunged -20% q/q and -42% y/y to $470.7B.  Additionally, refinanced loans accounted for 53% of all Q1 mortgages, down from 56% in Q4 2021 and down from 67% in Q1 2021.

“The drop-off in Q1 refinancing activity is no surprise with mortgage rates rising as rapidly as they have,” said Rick Sharga, executive vice president of market intelligence with ATTOM.

Refinancing activity dropped from Q4 2021 to Q1 2022 in 97% of the 216 metro areas ATTOM analyzed.  The largest quarterly decreases in refinancing activity occurred in:

  • Huntsville AL – -58.1%
  • Louis MO – 59.8%
  • Augusta GA – -47.5%
  • Anchorage AK – -45.1% San Jose CA – -41.9%
  • San Jose – -41.9%
  • San Francisco CA – -36.7%
  • San Diego CA – -35.9%
  • Boston MA – -34.4%

Purchase-Loan Activity Also Decreased in Q1 2022

Lenders issued 1.01M purchase loans to buyers in Q1 2022, down -18% q/q and -12% y/y.  Dollar valuation of those loans fell -16.2% q/q and -11.7% y/y to $371.3B.

ATTOM’s Sharga said,”…many forecasts expected purchase loans to remain strong in 2022, and even increase in both the number of loans originated and the dollar volume of those loans.  The weakness in purchase loan activity shows just how much of an impact the combination of escalating home prices and rising interest rates have had on borrower activity this year.”

Residential purchase-mortgage originations decreased in 205 of the 216 metro areas, or 95%, analyzed by ATTOM for this report.

The largest quarterly decreases in purchase-mortgage originations occurred in:

  • Huntsville AL – -61.3%
  • Louis MO – -55.3%
  • Utica NY – -50.7%
  • Lafayette IN – -50%
  • Duluth MN – -45.9%
  • Rochester NY – -40.8%
  • Boston MA – -34.6%
  • Honolulu HI – =32.2%
  • San Jose CA – -32.2%

The largest quarterly increases in purchase-mortgage activity occurred in:

  • Lafayette LA – +16.7%
  • Laredo TX – +16.5%
  • College Station TX – +16.2%
  • Philadelphia PA – +12.8%
  • Warner Robins GA – +12.2%

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Thanks to ATTOM.

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