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VOL. 129 | NO. 241 | Thursday, December 11, 2014

November Mortgage Volume Drops 14 Percent

By Andy Meek

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Looking at results from last month might suggest mortgage industry professionals are in the midst of a yearend slowdown, with phones not ringing quite as much as a result of interested buyers at the moment.

However, the latest figures from real estate information company Chandler Reports, www.chandlerreports.com, also show that mortgage volume in the county year to date is running basically in line with where things stood at this time last year.

Low rates continue to fuel some of the activity, bankers say, which resulted in mortgage volume in the county totaling a little more than $88 million last month, according to the Chandler Reports figures. That’s down 14 percent, though, from the $102.5 million in volume the county saw in November 2013.

Also last month, meanwhile, the number of mortgages made was 525, down a little from the 592 in November 2013. And the average mortgage amount likewise dipped slightly, to $168,160 last month from $173,206 last year.


Magna Bank chairman, president and CEO Kirk Bailey said his bank is seeing the typical seasonal slowdown in mortgage activity that comes with the fourth quarter. As part of that, the bank is seeing a “healthy” degree of purchase activity and correspondingly weak refinance volume.

With November’s figures included, Magna is slightly ahead of where it stood at this point in 2013 year to date in terms of volume, according to Chandler Reports. Through November, Magna’s volume for the year totaled a little more than $104 million, up slightly from about $103 million through November 2013.

Evolve Bank & Trust president and CEO Scott Stafford likewise said that business usually tends to slow between November and January. But he says there’s still “strong demand” for housing in the Memphis market and nationwide, and that Evolve expects the trend to continue as long as interest rates stay below 5 percent.

November’s mortgage activity unsurprisingly followed the pattern in home sales for the month, which were likewise down. The county saw 1,034 sales recorded for the month, down 7.8 percent compared to the 1,115 recorded in November 2013, according to Chandler Reports.

The slowdown in mortgage activity was a bit more precipitous from October to November, instead of year over year for November. Last month’s 525 mortgages were down from 732 in October, which also saw a higher volume (almost $125 million in October, compared to a little more than $88 million in November).

The average mortgage amount also dropped from October to November, going from $170,326 to $168,160.

Year to date through November, mortgage volume in Shelby County was about $1.33 billion, essentially at the same place it was at this time last year ($1.3 billion).

Among examples of area lenders’ performance, Iberiabank’s November mortgage volume was $4.2 million, down from $5.4 million in November 2013, according to Chandler Reports.

Patriot Bank’s November mortgage volume was also down slightly, to $4.2 million last month from $5.2 million in November 2013. Financial Federal grew its November mortgage volume year over year (from $2.5 million to $3.5 million) and Triumph Mortgage saw a small volume drop (from $3.8 million to $3.4 million).

Among other local gainers, Metropolitan Bank saw a big jump in its November volume, going from $1.3 million to a little less than $3 million. Bartlett Mortgage likewise grew its November volume (from $1.8 million to $2.4 million) and Independent Bank’s November volume climbed from $1.9 million to a little more than $2 million.

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

PROPERTY SALES 23 23 1,365
MORTGAGES 21 21 1,068
BUILDING PERMITS 117 117 3,173