Zillow Reports Surge in Loan Requests
President Barack Obama's housing plan just might boost loan volumes, if traffic on Zillow Inc.'s lead-generation Web site is any indication. Amidst the announcement of President Barack Obama's housing plan, coupled with mortgage rates reaching historic lows, real estate web site Zillow.com reported Tuesday record-breaking traffic and loan request activity within its free marketplace for custom mortgage quotes over the past three months. More than 70,000 loan requests were submitted from borrowers on Zillow Mortgage Marketplace in the December through February time period, with the average number of daily loan requests up 142 percent in this same period versus November 2008. "It's been fascinating to watch homeowners and potential buyers respond so quickly to these record low mortgage rates and to the economic news of the day," said Lloyd Frink, Zillow President. Refinancings requests, of course, contributed to a large bulk of the traffic, accounting for more than 60 percent of all consumer loan requests over this three-month period. The increased interest in refinancing saw February traffic reach 7.9 million unique users, which is up 60 percent year-over-year, according to Zillow. "We saw borrowers react quickly when rates dove below 5 percent in early February; loan requests rose 16 percent compared to the previous week," said Frink. "Likewise, when President Obama announced his refinancing plan in late February, loan requests rose 56 percent over the average daily rate and remained at higher levels for several days, even though there was no movement in rates." Write to Kelly Curran at email@example.com. Disclosure: The author held no relevant investment positions when this story was published. Indirect holdings may exist via mutual fund investments. HW reporters and writers follow a strict disclosure policy, the first in the mortgage trade.