Nearly all the lenders that made mortgages last year made mortgages to women.

Of the 6,880 firms that reported Home Mortgage Disclosure Act originations data to the Federal Financial Institutions Examinations Council in 2015, 6,498 granted mortgage dollars to women. That’s 94 percent.

A look at the LendingPatterns™ database of ComplianceTech, a fair lending and technology firm in McLean, Vir., showed women (either alone, as primary applicant, or two women together) applied for more than $650 billion dollars’ worth of mortgage finance in 2015 through 3.5 million apps.

Women were granted $384 billion through nearly two million loans for an approval rate of 59 percent of dollars (55 percent by number of loans). The percentage of women borrower mortgage dollars when compared to the nationwide total of $1.85 trillion comes to just under 21 percent, flat to 2014. Loan dollars were up 34 percent year to year.

Wells Fargo Bank was the largest lender to the three categories of women, at a combined total of more than $25 billion, up from $20 billion in 2014. Quicken Loans of Detroit was second, at $16.6 billion, while JP Morgan Chase of New York was third, at $12.3 billion. Bank of America, Charlotte, NC moved from third in 2014 to fourth for 2015, also at $12.3 billion. Fifty-six lenders made more than $1 billion in originations each to women, up from 44 in 2014.

Looking at originations by numbers of loans, white women received 72 percent of the total. Minority women got 24 percent of the total, up slightly from 2014, with Hispanics edging out Blacks at 9.3 percent to get the most minority loans.

Of the three categories of women, loans to female alone were the largest, at $244 billion. Female primary borrowers were second at $126 billion, while same-gender households were a distant third at $14 billion.

Loan dollar type favored conventional at 75 percent. Of the government mortgage programs, the Federal Housing Administration came in first, at 20 percent.

Forty-nine percent of the money went to upper income borrowers, with middle income borrowers receiving 23 percent and the combined categories of low and moderate income borrowers getting 21 percent.

Purchase and refinancing shares tilted toward purchase homes at 54 percent, with 43 percent going towards refis. The balance was for home improvement.

Spreads reported were 2.45 percent for first liens and 5.16 percent for second liens. However, just five percent reported spreads.

Most of these mortgages were sold into the secondary mortgage market, with just 24 percent remaining on lender portfolios. Non-agency investors came in first at a 28 percent share. Fannie Mae had the largest share of the government agencies, at 21 percent.

More than eight in every ten dollars granted went to conforming mortgages, with 19 percent in the jumbo mortgage range. First liens averaged $205,000, up from $191,000 in 2014, while subordinate liens averaged $37,000, flat to 2014. Just about all of the financing was for first liens, with subordinate liens coming in at less than one percent. That tracked nicely with the property type category, where more than 99 percent of mortgage money went to single-family properties.


(Mark Fogarty is a journalist and analyst who has been covering the mortgage industry for more than 30 years.)