Existing home sales reached the highest level in 15 years in 2021, according to the National Association of Realtors. It was largely driven by record-low mortgage rates and the need for more ex-urban space after coronavirus pandemic restrictions. Thirty-year fixed-rate mortgage levels in 2021 topped out around 3.1%—lower than today’s near 6% rates driven higher by the Federal Reserve’s attempts to cool raging inflation in the housing market.
American Home Shield analyzed home loan origination data from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to see which states took out the most mortgages per 10,000 homes in 2021, the latest information available. The rate was determined by dividing the total number of primary mortgages originated in each state by the number of owner-occupied houses.
There are four common types of mortgages a potential homeowner can take out to help finance their purchase: a conventional loan, a mortgage issued by a bank; a Federal Housing Administration loan, a government-backed mortgage with lower requirements than a conventional loan; a VA loan, a mortgage for active duty or retired members of the U.S. military; and an FSA loan, which is offered to farmers through the United States Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency.
Americans took out more than 5.2 million mortgages in total last year, as properties exchanged hands at a brisk volume—and pace—unseen since the last time a hot U.S. housing market collapsed. The housing market bust of the late 2000s, however, was mostly attributable to unsustainable lending practices, and unwieldy levels of debt. Economists and other analysts maintain that this time it’s different and that Americans are in for a home price “correction” rather than another bursting bubble.