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Mortgage Marvel Releases Year-End Data From More Than 700,000 Mortgage Applications

Data Reveals Higher-Than-Expected Credit Scores; Significant Difference Between Property Values and Loan Amounts (January 19, 2012)

MEQUON, WI -- (Marketwire) -- 01/19/12 -- Mortgagebot LLC, which operates Mortgage Marvel.com, released data compiled from more than 700,000 submitted applications -- across all 50 states -- to lenders using its online, direct-to-consumer, mortgage origination platform in 2011.

  • The average national property value was $278,892. The states -- including DC -- with the highest property values were District of Columbia, California, Hawaii, Maryland and New Jersey with average property values of $575,683, $493,293, $493,198, $427,305, and $422,943 respectively. The states with the lowest property values were Michigan, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Mississippi and Indiana with property values of $155,304,$164,127, $167,484, $173,566 and $176,707 respectively.

  • The average loan amount nationwide was $189,198. The states -- including DC -- with the highest average loan amount were District of Columbia, Hawaii, California, Virginia and Maryland with average loan amounts of $375,737, $316,738, $305,259, 288,859, and $278,501 respectively. The five states with the lowest average loan amount were Michigan, Indiana, Oklahoma, Kentucky, and Iowa with average loan amounts of $116,238, $125,444, $130,386, $134,978, and $135,008 respectively.

  • The average indicative FICO (Fair, Isaac and Company) credit score was surprisingly high at 730. The states (including DC) with the highest credit scores were California, Oregon, Wisconsin, District of Columbia, and Hawaii. The states with the lowest credit scores were Mississippi, Arkansas, West Virginia, Louisiana, and Oklahoma.

  • Average mortgage rates provided to consumers in 2011 fell to historically low rates, moving below 4 percent in August and staying below 4 percent through the end of the year.(1) (NOTE: These figures are based on the rates offered by lenders for the applications analyzed across all product types and discount point ranges.)

Rick Allen, Mortgage Marvel's Chief Operating Officer, summarized 2011's mortgage rate environment by saying, "Mortgage rates for conforming 30-year fixed mortgages began the year at about 5.2 percent and peaked above 5.3 percent in early April. Then, as European and domestic economic woes continued, rates started to take on a steady decline through the summer and fell just below 4 percent in August, a sign that the Fed's 'Operation Twist' had some of its intended impact. On December 31, 30-year, fixed rates stood at an average of 3.74 percent." (NOTE: Again, These figures are based on the rates offered by lenders for the applications analyzed across all product types and discount point ranges.)

During difficult economic times like those experienced in 2011, investors tend to move their capital away from riskier investments and into the safest possible investments like U.S. Treasury notes, Allen said. As demand for Treasury notes increases, their price increases and yield falls. Mortgage rates generally follow the same path as Treasury notes and have fallen accordingly, but not by as much, in 2011.

Historically, the spread between 30-year fixed mortgage rates and 10-year Treasury notes is about 170 basis points, or 1.7 percent, Allen said. Based on Mortgage Marvel Rate Trends, this spread was at its historical norm at the start of the year, narrowed to less than 1.5 percent as rates increased early in the year, and then spiked to more than 2.2 percent for much of the fourth quarter as rates reached new lows.


"In a lower rate environment like this, mortgage spreads widen for two reasons. First, investors' flight to quality leads to greater price gains in the most risk-free investments, like U.S. Treasury debt. Second, lenders tend to set their rates at a slightly higher level than normal," Allen said. "They do this in part to be able to make more money on the loans they complete and also to keep from being inundated with more loan applications than they can handle."

Victor Li, an associate professor of economics at the Villanova School of Business who worked with Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke at Princeton University recently stated, "The economic gloom just might lift in 2012, with a double-dip recession seeming less likely and another drop in the unemployment rate seeming more probable. But economists will be watching inflation and GDP very carefully."

For a complete list of aggregate and state by state data, or for interview requests, please contact Ana Tackett at 480-318-1238 or [email protected].

About Mortgage Marvel
Mortgage Marvel is an online mortgage-shopping website that delivers real-time quotes from multiple lenders -- in complete privacy. Consumers can learn more about how rates trended in 2011 by visiting the Rate Trends section of the website www.mortgagemarvel.com. These rate trend data are among the most accurate and complete anywhere. Mortgage Marvel pulls rates every day directly from the live product and pricing database of more than 1,000 national, regional, and local banks and credit unions across the country. For ease of comparison, all rates in Mortgage Marvel Rate Trends are presented with zero discount points. Mortgage Marvel is a service of Mortgagebot LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Davis + Henderson Corporation, that has led the industry since 1997 by providing the unique, award-winning PowerSite®family of integrated point-of-sale solutions for taking mortgage applications in every mortgage business channel: consumer-direct via the Internet, in the branch or call center, or through professional loan officers.

(1) Note to reporters: Individual state and county data are available upon request.

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Cindy Golisch
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Ana Tackett
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