Residential mortgage originations in the third quarter fell 19% from 2Q – the sixth quarterly decrease in a row – and down 47% from the third quarter of 2021, making it the biggest annual drop in 21 years.

That’s according to ATTOM’s third-quarter 2022 U.S. Residential Property Mortgage Origination Report, which shows that 1.97 million mortgages were originated during the quarter. Refinance and purchase loan activity both contributed to the decline. 

Overall, the report showed that lenders issued $636.5 billion worth of mortgages in 3Q. That was down quarterly by 22% and 46% annually, again the largest drop since at least 2001 and “the latest sign that the 11-year U.S. housing market boom is losing steam.”

Refinancing activity has dropped for six consecutive quarters to a level that is just one-quarter of what it was in early 2021, according to ATTOM. The dollar volume of refinance loans from July through September was down 33% from the prior quarter and 67% annually to $212 billion. By the end of 3Q refinance activity represented just a third of overall mortgages, compared to two-thirds in the first quarter of last year. 

The number of purchase loans fell by 16% quarterly and 33% annually,  while the dollar volume decreased to $353.9 billion. Purchase lending continued at just under half of all activity in 3Q

HELOCs were the only activity that improved—they were up 5% quarterly, their third straight quarterly gain, according to the report. 

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