VOL. 130 | NO. 28 | Wednesday, February 11, 2015
Shelby County Mortgage Market Dips Slightly in January
By Andy Meek
Even though total mortgage volume in Shelby County dipped slightly in January, Magna Bank – among the top lenders for the month – actually grew its volume in during the month.
And bank executives expect to see the usual seasonal uptick in loan requests start soon.
Despite the countywide decline, Magna actually grew its volume 4 percent in January compared to January 2013, going from $6.26 million in volume to almost $6.5 million. Countywide, though, volume in January slipped year-over-year, from $89.5 million to a little more than $88 million, according to real estate information company Chandler Reports, www.chandlerreports.com.
Low rates are partly behind the factors driving Magna’s numbers, says bank president, chairman and CEO Kirk Bailey. And other banks could benefit from the same macro factors.
“Mortgage loan applications have increased recently, primarily due to increased refinance requests,” he said. “Loan requests for home purchases remain stable, but we do expect the typical seasonal uptick in loan requests starting in March, as people take advantage of improving weather to look at homes for sale.
“Interest rates for mortgage loans remain very attractive for consumers, and we expect rates to remain near their current level for the next few months.”
Looking at other mortgage-related metrics in January for the county at large, meanwhile, other dips were present, albeit slight. The number of mortgages made was 546 last month, for example, down from 551 in January 2013. And the average mortgage amount likewise dipped slightly, to $161,584 last month from $162,477 last year.
January’s mortgage numbers are coming off a fourth quarter that, despite the holidays and colder weather, saw growth in mortgage activity during the quarter as well as growth in home sales.
Shelby County recorded 3,944 home sales in the fourth quarter, up 9.6 percent from 3,600 sales in the fourth quarter of 2013, according to Chandler. Also in the quarter, total mortgage volume rose 7 percent to almost $344 million, up from almost $321 million in fourth quarter 2013.
Moving the timeframe from January back one month to include December, the declines become slightly more pronounced.
Last month’s 546 mortgages were down from 780 in December, a month that also saw higher volume ($128.4 million in December, compared to volume of a little more than $88 million in January).
The average mortgage amount also dropped from December to January, going from $164,622 to $161,584.
Among examples of area lenders’ monthly performance, Iberiabank’s January mortgage volume was $5.5 million, up from $5.1 million in January 2013, according to Chandler.
Among other local gainers, Metropolitan Bank saw a large jump in its January volume, going from less than half a million dollars in January 2013 to about $3.5 million last month. Bartlett Mortgage likewise grew its January volume, from $1.1 million to almost $1.5 million, and Independent Bank’s January volume climbed from about $1 million to $1.45 million.
Between the two January periods, Evolve Bank & Trust also grew its volume from $833,531 to almost $2 million. Renasant Bank’s volume climbed from $1.16 million to almost $1.7 million, and Paragon Bank likewise grew its volume slightly, from a little less than $1 million to a little more than $1 million.
Chandler Reports is a division of The Daily News Publishing Co. Inc.