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VOL. 130 | NO. 90 | Friday, May 8, 2015

Mortgage Market Up 9 Percent in April

By Andy Meek

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Triumph Bank found itself at the end of April with a second straight record-breaking month for its mortgage division, with Triumph Mortgage having funded more units and loan volume in the month than during any other in the bank’s history.

And while it was a powerhouse month for the bank, Triumph also wasn’t alone in closing plenty of deals and watching mortgage totals surge.

Countywide, the residential mortgage market in April on a volume basis was up 9 percent compared to April 2014, according to real estate information company Chandler Reports, www.chandlerreports.com.

New-purchase mortgage volume last month rose to almost $128 million, up from almost $117 million in April 2014, and lenders say continued low rates are one of the reasons behind that growth.


Triumph Mortgage president Travis Chapman said low rates have helped his institution see its retail mortgage numbers jump 30 percent year-to-date compared to the same period in 2014, with Triumph seeing growth especially come from the purchase market.

“We’re seeing a good mix of buyers, but first-time buyers are a big part of it,” Chapman said. “And the good news is our pipeline is just as large now as it was going into last month.”

And he expects that uptick to continue as the market shifts into the even busier summer months, with April’s increases pointing the way.

From April 2014 to last month, the number of mortgages made grew from 687 countywide to 738, according to Chandler. Last month’s total also was an increase over March’s 729 mortgages.

The average mortgage amount also grew year-over-year, from $170,137 in April 2014 to $172,923 last month.

Scott Sorin, a mortgage lending specialist with Metropolitan Bank in Memphis, said the area’s mortgage market to him looks like one of the “healthiest environments” he’s seen in years.

“To say these are exciting times is an understatement,” said Sorin, whose bank grew its volume from a little more than $3.9 million in April 2014 to a little more than $4 million, according to the Chandler totals. “On the refinance side, our clients are taking advantage of continued low rates to better their financial situation by reducing the term of their mortgage, as well as freeing up capital to invest in the market where they’re confident they can increase their yields.

“In terms of the purchase market, a combination of lower rates and limited inventory has made the purchase market as strong as we’ve seen in quite some time.”

Among local lenders who saw gains in April, Community Mortgage Corp.’s new mortgage volume improved from $7.2 million in April 2014 to $11.8 million last month. Iberiabank volume grew from $9.7 million to almost $10.2 million over the two April periods, according to Chandler.

Magna Bank’s volume went from $8.5 million in April 2014 to $9.4 million last month, and Financial Federal had a volume in April of $5.7 million, surpassing the volume of $2.6 million it recorded in April 2014.

Other gainers in April included Bartlett Mortgage, with a volume of $3.9 million for the month, up from $2.4 million one year earlier. And Independent Bank grew its volume during the two April periods from $1.4 million to almost $1.9 million.

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

PROPERTY SALES 57 280 1,209
MORTGAGES 55 244 916
BUILDING PERMITS 158 699 2,751