Mortgage originations have continued with a steady pace so far in 2018 and are closing in on record balances.
Equifax data shows that in July this year there were 50.1 million outstanding first mortgage loans with total balances of $8.87 trillion, near the $9.04 trillion record of 2008.
Between January and May 2018, there were 2.77 million new mortgage loan originations with a total dollar amount of $689.8 billion.
Meanwhile, HELOC balances continued to decline with total balances of $416 billion, down 5% year-over-year and 38.5% below the 2009 peak of $677 billion.
For January-May 2018, there were 555,300 new HELOCs originated, a 4.4% decrease from the same period of 2017, while home equity instalment loans grew, with 311,900 originated reflecting a 7.4% increase.
“Home sales continue to disappoint, due to tight inventories and increased construction costs, but mortgage refinance has been slightly stronger than expected," said Gunnar Blix, Deputy Chief Economist, Equifax.
Other credit also growing
Equifax figures also show a rise in total outstanding balances on auto loans and leases (up 4.6% year-over-year to $1.27 trillion) with the number of outstanding accounts up 3.5% from a year ago to $86.9 million.
Outstanding consumer finance loans grew by 7.9% year-to-date, now totalling $43.9 billion in total amount.
"Credit demand has shifted towards consumer finance, particularly the online or 'marketplace' offerings of unsecured personal loans," said Blix. "Consumers with good credit see opportunities to consolidate credit card debt, complete projects, or fund other ventures. Lenders see opportunities to reach consumers through new Fintech platforms."
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