First-quarter originations of home loans were up pretty much everywhere TRW Redi Property Data can see so far.
The Anaheim, Calif., company tracks all or part of 30 states but has full data from only 11 - including California, Florida, and Connecticut - as well as key metropolitan areas in eight other states.
In each of these full-data areas, first-quarter originations were above the year-earlier level - overall, by 73.1%.
The data are based on examination of all recorded deeds in the states or metro areas.
The report by TRW Redi emphasized that the gains were exaggerated by comparison with a particularly weak 1995 first quarter, and it pointed out that the 1996 numbers still trailed those of the less-than-vigorous 1994 first quarter.
"The figures show that originations for purchases of homes increased by 22%, while nonpurchase lending, which includes refinances, second and equity mortgages, went up 140%," the TRW report said. Nonpurchase loans accounted for 60% of transactions in the quarter, against 43% last year. "Regionally, mortgage lending for purchases of homes is up in all states covered by the TRW Redi report with the exception of Connecticut, where activity remained flat," said Nima Nattagh, TRW's market analyst.
Mr. Nattagh also noted that second mortgages and home equity lines of credit accounted for much of the increase in nonpurchase volume.
"In the major metropolitan areas of Arizona, Oregon, and Nevada, purchase originations were up by more than 30%, a reflection of the vibrant housing market in those areas," Mr. Nattagh said. "In California, the nation's largest housing market, purchase originations were up by almost 22% compared to the first three months of last year but still slightly below the 1994 level."
The TRW Redi executive said the partial figures for the eight states - Colorado, Washington, Arizona, Massachusetts, Oregon, Nevada, Rhode Island, and New Mexico - were reliable indicators of total volume in those states because they covered all transactions in the selected metro areas, not a sampling.