Percentages of mortgages to minorities ticked up in both numbers of loans and dollars granted in 2015 over 2014, Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data show.
An analysis of minority volumes in LendingPatterns™ finds that minorities topped 20 percent (20.4 percent of mortgages made) in 2015, a high for recent years. Dollars granted were slightly lower, at 19 percent of the total.
Both amounts were up from 2014. Dollar volumes aren’t exactly comparable since overall volumes were quite different ($1.85 trillion last year versus $1.4 trillion in 2014).
But in 2014 percentages, minorities (Blacks, Hispanics, Asians, Native Americans, Native Hawaiians and Multi-Racial) registered 19.6 percent of the number of mortgages and 18.5 percent of the dollars. (The Native American category includes Alaska Natives, while the Native Hawaiian category includes other indigenous Pacific Islanders in territories the U.S. controls, like Guam and American Samoa).
In aggregate, the number of minority mortgages reached almost 1.5 million last year (1,483,811) and $351 billion in mortgage finance was extended. (This analysis excludes purchased loans.)
The fact that minorities got a higher percentage of mortgages by number versus dollars granted in both 2015 and 2014 implies that mortgage amounts to minorities were lower than the national average of $261,000 on first liens and $65,000 for subordinate liens (both up nicely from 2014). And in fact for minorities, loan amounts on originations averaged $248,000 for first liens and $38,000 for subordinates.
Both Asians ($134 billion) and Hispanics ($129 billion) received more than $100 billion in mortgage money last year. Blacks were granted $70 billion, Multi-Racials $7.2 billion, Native Hawaiians $5.8 billion, and Native Americans $4.6 billion.
By number among minorities, Hispanics were first, at 43 percent of loans granted in 2015 (639,000). Asians and Blacks were just about dead even, at 390,000 and 379,000 respectively, both about 26 percent. Notable here is that Blacks got nearly the same number of loans as Asians while getting $64 billion less, implying smaller loan amounts for Blacks.
In fact, Asians got much higher loan amounts than either Hispanics and Blacks, at about $343,000. Hispanics averaged $202,000 per loan and Blacks $184,000.
In other categories, 55 percent of minority dollars granted went to those counted as upper class in income. The low and moderate categories together came to 16 percent, while middle income claimed 20 percent.
Consistent with a high percentage of upper income loans, jumbo loans accounted for more than a quarter of the total (26.8 percent).
Two thirds of minority dollars granted (67 percent) went for conventional lending. On the government side the Federal Housing Administration had 22 percent of volume and the Department of Veterans Affairs 10 percent.
Almost exactly a quarter of mortgage dollars were held in portfolio last year (24.6 percent). Non-agency investors bought the most, 28 percent. Fannie Mae, Ginnie Mae and Freddie Mac trailed, with 18, 17 and 12 percent respectively.
For the entire market, 32 percent of mortgage dollars were held in portfolio in 2015.
Purchases claimed 54 percent of the minority mortgage dollar market, with refinancings coming in at 43 percent. For the total market in 2015 the split was a little closer, with purchases at 51 percent and refis at 45 percent.
(Mark Fogarty is a journalist and analyst who has been covering the mortgage industry for more than 30 years.)