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VOL. 128 | NO. 242 | Thursday, December 12, 2013

Mortgage Market Up 10 Percent in November

By Andy Meek

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Borrowers are still rushing to lock in low rates, take advantage of a seemingly improving economy and get those keys to a new home in their hands.

That’s what the latest monthly mortgage numbers would suggest, as do the mortgage industry professionals who say borrowers kept the phones ringing at pretty much a steady clip in November compared to the previous month and helped November see a 10 percent uptick in the county’s mortgage volume.

Mortgage volume in the county during November climbed to almost $102 million from almost $93 million in November 2012, according to real estate information company Chandler Reports, www.chandlerreports.com.

That monthly increase is a pattern that’s continued almost uninterrupted this year. From January through November, there was only one month – March – when the county’s monthly mortgage volume was below where it was during the same month in 2012.

That’s not to say the increases have been predictable, because they’ve varied widely throughout the year. Between May and September, for example, the monthly volume increases ranged from 0.4 percent to 23 percent.

This summer was an especially hot time for the mortgage market. In July, volume was up 22 percent, then up another 23 percent in August.

Last month, the number of mortgages made was 591, down a little from the 596 in November 2012. Meanwhile, the average mortgage amount rose to $172,431 last month from $155,579 last year.


“The government shutdown (in October) had a little effect on loan applications, but we’ve seen it pick back up,” said Lisa Reid, executive vice president of Magna Bank’s mortgage division. “We’re anticipating a 10 to 15 percent increase in our purchase business alone going into 2014.”

November’s 591 mortgages marked a bit of a drop from the 743 filed the previous month, in October. October also had a higher overall volume ($124.3 million versus almost $102 million last month), but the average mortgage amount rose from October to November (from $167,329 to $172,431).

Year-to-date through the end of November, mortgage volume in Shelby County was about $1.3 billion, up from a little more than $1 billion during the same period in 2012.

“I don’t think you could get a more attractive environment in which to buy a home than we’ve got right now,” said Trustmark National Bank regional mortgage manager and vice president Anne Richards. “Lenders are still willing to lend and still willing to lend at attractive terms.”

Among examples of area lenders’ performance, First Tennessee Bank’s November mortgage volume was about $1.9 million, up from $370,500 in 2012, according to Chandler Reports.

Meanwhile, Independent Bank’s mortgage volume rose to almost $1.9 million from almost $450,000.

Magna Bank’s volume rose to about $8.4 million from almost $8.2 million over the two November periods.

Among the other local gainers, Landmark Community Bank doubled its volume over the two November periods (from $235,139 to $573,490). And Iberiabank’s mortgage volume grew to almost $5.4 million from a little more than $3 million in November 2012. The growth is not surprisingly, since Iberiabank has been expanding its franchise in Memphis via things like the recent purchase of a few new branch locations.

BancorpSouth’s mortgage volume also was up in November, rising to a little more than $4 million from almost $3.9 million in November 2012.

Chandler Reports is a division of The Daily News Publishing Co. Inc.

PROPERTY SALES 36 154 6,546
MORTGAGES 34 94 4,129
BUILDING PERMITS 201 554 15,915
BANKRUPTCIES 43 126 3,396