Home buying and refinancing boom boosted mortgage lending in 2020

Home buying and refinancing boom boosted mortgage lending in 2020

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A new housing construction is seen as real estate prices rise in Beverly Hills, California, U.S., June 2, 2021. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

By Jonnelle Marte

(Reuters) – Mortgage lending surged last year after the pandemic fueled a housing boom driven by low interest rates and the shift to work from home, according to information released Thursday by the Federal Reserve.

The annual release of data under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act also showed the share of home purchase loans given to Black borrowers rose last year and the share made to Hispanic and Asian borrowers declined slightly.

Mortgage originations increased by about 5.3 million in 2020 from 2019, a rise of 67.1%. Mortgage refinancing for properties that house one to four families soared by 150% while home purchase loans increased by 6.7%.

The share of home purchase loans made to Black borrowers rose to 7.3% in 2020, from 7.0 percent in 2019. The share of loans made to Hispanic-White borrowers decreased slightly from to 9.1% from 9.2%, and those made to Asian borrowers decreased to 5.5% from 5.7%.

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