According to loans originated in December 2008 by Rodney Anderson, who claims to be the "country's fourth highest producing originator of mortgage loans and the highest producing originator of FHA and VA loans," new mortgage activity doubled when compared to loan activity from December 2007, according to a press release Tuesday. Interestingly, Anderson's firm found that seventy percent of December's new loan applications were for purchases of residential property, not for refinancings --  previous reports from other sources have suggested that refinancing activity has recently soared, driving the bulk of application activity. "There's no question that as rates dropped in the latter part of 2008 more people took steps to capitalize on the cost savings that those lower rates would bring," said Anderson. "And while many see this as a refinance boom, it's important to note that a significant portion of those loans -- roughly 7 out of 10 -- were going to individuals purchasing new homes. Despite the stagnation we're hearing about in the retail and automotive sector, there are still individuals out there who are buying homes and taking advantage of lower rates in this buyer's market." Sound optimistic to you? Anderson's findings come in stark contrast to the Mortgage Bankers Association's weekly survey of application activity, which reported Christmas Eve that refinancing applications constituted a whopping 83.2 percent of all applications for the week ending Dec 12. Anderson predicts that if interest rates continue to decline, the country will see an increase in purchases, as well as refinance transactions, and like many in his field, he says that trying to time the purchase of a home is a bad idea. "If you're thinking of buying a home, a hypothetical rate of 4.5 percent should not be the primary factor in deciding whether or not to purchase a home. Right now, rates are at their lowest point in nearly four decades, and despite what you may hear, lenders are still loaning money in the housing market. There's definitely still purchase and refinance money available for qualified borrowers." Write to Kelly Curran at