U.S. mortgage statistics and FAQs
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- Residential mortgage debt in the U.S. totaled $11.18 trillion as of the first quarter of 2022, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
- Commercial real estate debt in the U.S. crossed the $5 trillion mark in 2021, according to commercial real estate data provider Trepp.
- Mortgages accounted for 71 percent of combined household debt in the first quarter of 2022, according to the New York Fed.
- Mortgage lenders issued 2.71 million residential loans in the first quarter of 2022 — the biggest downtrend since 2014, according to ATTOM.
- The average balance for a first mortgage reached a record high of $298,324 in 2021, up from $278,725 in 2020, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.
- In 2021, $2.7 trillion in mortgages were refinanced, just a slight decrease from $2.8 trillion in 2020, according to mortgage technology and data provider Black Knight.
- More than 52,900 reverse mortgages were originated in 2021, according to reverse mortgage data provider Reverse Market Insight.
- Just over 22 percent of borrowers with conventional mortgages paid private mortgage insurance (PMI) in 2021, according to the Urban Institute.
- Existing-home sales hit their highest level in 15 years in 2021, at 6.12 million, according to the National Association of Realtors.
- Home prices are expected to grow by 10.4 percent in 2022 and 5 percent in 2023, according to a spring 2022 forecast from Freddie Mac.
Mortgage marketshare by loan type
|Source: Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) data, 2021|
Mortgage statistics by loan term
The most popular type of mortgage is the 30-year home loan, which gives homebuyers three full decades to pay it off, meaning smaller payments over a longer period of time.
|Type of mortgage||Marketshare||Originations (Dollar volume)|
|Source: HMDA data, 2021|
|30-year fixed-rate||70%||$3.91 trillion|
|15-year fixed-rate||9%||$486.73 billion|
|5/1 ARM||1%||$83.71 billion|
|7/1 ARM||2%||$117.45 billion|
|Other fixed-rate terms (such as 10 or 20 years)||10%||$583.73 billion|
|Other ARM terms (such as 10/1, 5/6 and 7/6)||7%||$410 billion|
Annual mortgage origination volume
The amount of mortgages originated (created) each year changes based on economic and housing conditions. In 2021, mortgage originations hit a record high of $4.4 trillion, according to Black Knight, thanks to mortgage rates hovering near the 3 percent mark.
When 2022 winds down, it’s likely to be a much different story. As of spring 2022, Fannie Mae projected a sharp year-over-year decline, with mortgage originations hitting $2.7 trillion this year, followed by $2.25 trillion in 2023.
Current and historical mortgage rates
Read more on current mortgage rates for today.
Historical 30-year fixed mortgage rates range widely, but over the past 10 years, the rate has remained fairly stable.
The initial economic fallout from the pandemic made borrowing money cheap, but if you were buying a home in 2020 and 2021, you had to contend with both record-low mortgage rates and record-high home prices. Those record-low rates were especially attractive to homeowners, who took advantage of the opportunity to refinance.
Now, rates are rising much faster than predicted. The Federal Reserve is working to address major inflation challenges threatening the economy, and its actions have pushed rates upward quickly, from 3.4 percent at the start of 2022 to more than 5 percent by April.
While there’s no crystal ball for mortgage rates, the summer housing market will likely be very busy as buyers look to lock in rates as soon as possible. Refinancing, meanwhile, will continue to slow down in a big way: According to the Freddie Mac forecast, refinance originations are poised to drop from $2.8 trillion in 2021 to $960 billion in 2022.
A mortgage is a loan that helps you buy or build a home, condo, townhouse or some other kind of property. Some mortgages are fixed-rate, meaning the interest rate never changes, and others are adjustable-rate, which means the interest rate resets periodically.
One way to determine how much mortgage you can afford is the 28 percent rule: Spend no more than 28 percent of your gross monthly income on housing costs. Your other debts (credit cards, car loans and student loans) also play a role in mortgage affordability, however.
To get a mortgage, you’ll need a strong track record of financial discipline: A good credit score, a solid debt-to-income (DTI) ratio and enough savings to cover a down payment. With this information, your mortgage lender will conduct an initial review of your finances. If you qualify, you’ll be preapproved for a loan. Many lenders offer the option to get preapproved online, but if you’re more comfortable with in-person assistance, you can schedule an appointment at a branch location.
The biggest chunk of your monthly mortgage payment will go toward the loan principal (the amount you borrowed) and interest. The payment also goes toward homeowners insurance and property taxes, as well as mortgage insurance and HOA dues, if applicable. You can use Bankrate’s mortgage calculator to get an estimate of how much you’ll pay each month based on how much you’re borrowing and at what rate, how much you’re putting down and how long you have to pay off the loan.
Mortgage insurance is a policy that some borrowers have to pay for to offset the risk of default on the loan. This insurance provides protection for the lender, not the borrower.With conventional loans, any borrower with a down payment less than 20 percent pays premiums for private mortgage insurance (PMI) until the borrower accumulates 20 percent equity. With low-down payment FHA loans, borrowers pay an upfront premium plus annual premiums, almost always for the life of the loan.
Refinancing is a standard practice, and it tends to pick up when mortgage rates go down. When rates hit record lows during the pandemic, for example, refinancing activity soared.
A reverse mortgage, also known as a Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM), allows homeowners ages 62 or older to borrow money based on the equity they have in their homes. Instead of making payments, the borrower receives payments from the lender. With a traditional mortgage, the loan gets smaller over time, but with a reverse mortgage, the size of the loan grows due to interest and fees. This type of loan must be paid back when the borrower no longer lives in the home.