ATTOM: Mortgage Lending Drops in Q1

(Image courtesy of SevenStorm JUHASZIMRUS/

ATTOM, Irvine, Calif., released its first-quarter U.S. Residential Property Mortgage Origination report, revealing that 1.28 million mortgages secured by residential property were issued in the quarter.

That’s a drop of 6.8% from Q4 2023, and the lowest level since 2000.

Year-over-year, it’s a drop of 4.8%. Moreover, it’s a fall of 69.3% from the high point hit in 2021.

Purchase-loan activity was down 9.9% quarterly, hitting 565,000. Refinance deals were down 1.9%, to 491,000. And, home-equity credit lines fell 9%, to end up at 222,000.

“There is reason to hope that we will see something of a turnaround when second-quarter data comes in, given the jump in lending activity that happened during the peak home-buying season of 2023,” said Rob Barber, CEO at ATTOM. “But with little sign that interest rates are coming down, which could fire up refinance and HELOC lending, or that supplies of homes for sale are going up, any increase is likely to be limited.”

Lenders issued $405.6 billion in residential mortgages in the quarter, down 4.8% from Q4 and down 4.5% year-over-year.

Geographically for total lending activity, the largest quarterly decreases were in St. Louis, Mo., (down 40.5% from Q4 2023), Buffalo, N.Y. (down 29.9%), Albany, N.Y. (down 28.6%), Syracuse, N.Y. (down 27.4%) and Pensacola, Fla. (down 25.6%).

The biggest quarterly increases (for metro areas with a population of at least 1 million) were in Tucson, Ariz. (up 15.2% from Q4), Phoenix (up 14.9%), Birmingham, Ala. (up 8.8%), Virginia Beach, Va., (up 8.6%) and Memphis, Tenn. (up 8.3%).