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Origination volume falls steeply to start year

Mortgage origination volume fell off dramatically in the first quarter on a steep drop in refinancing activity, Black Knight Financial Services reported.

Overall volume on single-family homes fell 34 percent over the quarter, which was propelled by a 45 percent drop in refinance volume, the company said. Origination volume usually falls in the first quarter compared to fourth quarter, but this year's decline was especially severe because of a sharp drop in refinancing. The growth in home-purchase origination volume also slowed down. 

The $372 billion in overall origination volume for the quarter was down 9 percent compared to the first-quarter of 2016 and the lowest number since the fourth quarter of 2014, Black Knight said.

Year over year, refinancing is down by 20 percent. Home purchase activity rose by 3 percent compared to the first quarter of 2016. This was the lowest annual growth rate since the fourth quarter of 2013.


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