While mortgage volume increased in the first quarter of 2016, so did the volume of subprime mortgages, keeping the market rate steady for the third consecutive year, according to the May 2016 National Consumer Credit Trends Report released today by Equifax.
Home equity installment loans increased to 182,400 in the first quarter, an increase of 23.5% from last year, and an eight-year high for the first quarter.
First mortgages increased 10.3% year-over-year to 1.86 million, and home equity lines of credit increased 10.2% from last year to 314,400 in the first quarter.
Lending to borrowers with subprime credit scores, consumers with an Equifax Risk Score of 620 or below, also increased, but at the same rate as the rest of the mortgages, so as a share of total lending, subprime mortgages remained consistent for the third consecutive year.
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New first mortgage accounts to subprime borrowers during the first quarter increased on a consistent basis, making up 5% of total loans, while the other 95% accounted for prime loans.
“The first quarter of 2016 was a strong one for mortgage lending and underwriting practices appear to have maintained their rigor over the last three years,” Equifax Chief Economist Amy Crews Cutts said. “We anticipate that the second quarter of 2016 will maintain this trend.”
“And later this year, the much-anticipated addition of trended credit data to the mortgage underwriting process will help to strengthen the marketplace further by helping to statistically separate lower risk borrowers from those presenting higher risk,” Cutts said.