MBA Chart of the Week: Mortgage Originations History & Forecast

MBA projects home purchase originations to increase in 2016 as the U.S. housing market continues on its path towards more typical levels of housing turnover based on steadily rising demand and improvements in the supply of homes for sale and under construction.    

We expect to see $905 billion in purchase mortgage originations during 2016, a 10 percent increase from 2015. In contrast, gradually rising rates are expected to result in a one-third decrease in refinance originations, bringing refinance originations down to $415 billion for 2016.  On net, mortgage originations will decrease to $1.32 trillion in 2016 from $1.45 trillion in 2015.    

For 2017, MBA forecasts purchase originations of $978 billion and refinance originations of $331 billion, for a total of $1.31 trillion.  

Despite bumps in the road from energy and export sectors, the job market is near full employment, with other measures of employment under-utilization continuing to improve. We forecast that strong household formation, improving wages and a more liquid housing market will drive home sales and purchase originations in the coming years.  

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(Lynn Fisher is vice president of research and economics with the Mortgage Bankers Association; she can be reached at Joel Kan associate vice president of economic forecasting with MBA; he can be reached at