Mortgage rates have been reaching a near record low which is appealing to buyers and refinancers. For the last three quarters of 2019, the number of new mortgages surpassed all quarters since 2005 according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
In the fourth quarter of 2019, more than $750 billion in new mortgages was generated. This shows a huge increase from the $344 billion that was created in the first quarter of 2019.
Wilbert Van Der Klaauw says “mortgage origination, including refinances, increased significantly in the final quarter of 2019.” The increase was fueled by many refinancers and buyers taking advantage of the lower mortgage rates.
New mortgages in 2019 totaled about $2.1 trillion. With this in mind, credit standards did go up a bit in the fourth quarter. The average credit score for borrowers applying for a mortgage went up to 770 from 765. The Fed claims that this was because of the increase of refinancers that came about.