Monday, July 30, 2012

Home purchase and refinance activity up 10 percent in Colorado during 2012

The number of mortgage loans paid off in Colorado was up 10.2 percent during the first half of 2012  compared to the same period of last year, but activity was down from the first quarter of this year to the second quarter.  According to a new report released today by the Colorado Division of Housing, public trustees in Colorado released a total of 139,859 deeds of trust during the first half of 2012, and there were 126,903 releases during the same period last year.

Typically, a release of a deed of trust occurs when a real estate loan is paid off whether through refinance, sale of property, or because the owner has made the final payment on the loan. Release activity rises as refinance and home-sale activity increases.

For the second quarter alone, releases of deeds of trust increased 20.7 percent to 65,051 from the 53,878 deeds released during the second quarter of last year.  Releases were down 13 percent from the first quarter of this year when there were 74,808 deeds released. The second quarter’s total was the highest total recorded for any second quarter since 2009. 

“Releases dropped off a bit during the second quarter, but overall activity is still up this year,” said Ryan McMaken, spokesman for the Colorado Division of Housing. “With mortgage rates at such low levels, there’s a big incentive to buy or refinance right now, assuming your loan gets approved.”

Following three quarters of falling mortgage rates during 2011, releases reflected new refinance activity and surged during the first quarter of 2012, rising 28 percent from the fourth quarter of 2011. Home sales have also pushed up release activity as sales in Colorado have climbed during 2012.

Trends in release activity were not uniform across the state. Most of the 21 counties surveyed reported increases in release activity from the first half of 2011 to the same period this year. The largest increases were reported in Eagle, Broomfield, and Denver counties where releases increased 29.9 percent, 26.4 percent and 17.8 percent, respectively. Of the six counties reporting decreases in release activity, the largest declines were found in Morgan and Park counties where releases fell 31.6 percent and 14 percent, respectively.

Adjusted for population size, the counties with the largest numbers of releases of deeds of trust were Summit, Douglas and Broomfield counties. The counties with the least activity were Alamosa, Pueblo and Delta counties.

“We see that the counties with the most release activity tend to have either higher median incomes or they benefit from in-demand mountain real estate,” McMaken said. “Either way, it seems that most counties surveyed are following the national trend which is toward more refi activity.” 

Totals for releases of deeds of trust are collected quarterly by the Colorado Division of Housing. This report tracks releases of deeds of trust as reported by public trustees in Colorado. The report includes twenty-one counties which are chosen based on population size and to ensure that as many regions of the state as possible are represented. More than 90 percent of all occupied households in Colorado are within the twenty-one counties chosen.

A deed of trust is similar to a mortgage and is a lien on real property to secure payment of an indebtedness. The deed of trust contains a grant of the property to the public trustee for the benefit of the holder. The deed of trust is released when the debt is paid in full.