Research Spotlight: Where Have All the Loans Gone?

This month, the Urban Institute released a report exploring the precipitous drop in mortgage origination levels in the US since the housing crash. Mortgages originated nationally in 2012 are less than half of what they were in the pre-crash peak and 44% below their 2001 level. While mortgages are significantly down from the last decade, home sales activities are only down 20% from 2001, which reflects the entry of all-cash purchases and investors entering the market. The authors of the report estimate that there are as many as 1.2 million loans being lost annually due to low credit availability.


The report also looks at how the impacts of credit tightening have been distributed unevenly by race, ethnicity, and geography. African-American and Hispanic borrowers have disproportionately been affected by the tightening of credit, experiencing a larger drop in loan levels and market share versus non-Hispanic whites and Asian-Americans. Similarly, loan levels dropped unevenly by state mainly in correlation with population growth rate. Loan origination in Virginia dropped by 46% between 2001 and 2012, slightly more than the national average and the 13th largest drop in the nation.


Go to to read the full report by searching the key word “mortgage” or clicking on demographics in the tag cloud under the Research tab.