Since the housing market crashed in 2008, most mortgage loans nationwide have been taken out for refinancing loans, not purchasing homes. Based on a study by MortgageMarvel.com, this continued to be true in 2012, when 55 percent of online mortgage applications were to refinance an existing mortgage.
Wisconsin, however, is a different story. In January 2012, only 32 percent of the online mortgage applications for properties in Wisconsin were for home purchases. In January 2013, this figure had risen to 46 percent.
“Wisconsin’s job growth has been encouraging, and people are starting to feel more optimistic about the economy,” said Rick Allen, chief operating officer of Mortgage Marvel. “With the improvements in the housing market, it could well be that people want to buy homes while they sense that prices are still within their reach and mortgage rates are low.
A year ago, rates for a 30-year, fixed mortgage averaged 3.985 percent nationwide. In January 2013, the same rates averaged 3.539 percent. Most economists expect at least a mild increase this year, so now is a good time to buy, Allen said. “Housing is a major driver of the economy,” Allen said. “Refinancing can create revenue in financial markets, but home purchases can generate all sorts of economic activity, from construction to remodeling to furniture purchases. Because of this, the shift of mortgage applications in Wisconsin toward home buying is a positive sign for the economy.” This study was based on a review of online mortgage applications for properties in Wisconsin that were submitted directly to lenders that use D+H Mortgagebot’s online, consumer-direct, mortgage origination platform. D+H Mortgagebot owns and operates Mortgage Marvel.