The pixel
The pixel

Low mortgage rates and increased home sales are leading to increased mortgage activity in New England, according to new data from The Warren Group’s Mortgage MarketShare Module.

While Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island all recorded strong activity so far this year, mortgage activity in Massachusetts has been the strongest.

Total mortgage activity in the Bay State is up more than 28 percent statewide – rising to 99,097 in the first four months of this year from 76,930 during the same period a year ago.

Purchase mortgages have increased almost 13 percent to 13,376 from 11,851. Nonpurchase, or refinance mortgages rose 32 percent to 85,721 from 65,079 during the first fourth months of 2011. The month of March has been the strongest so far this year, with 22,877 purchase and non-purchase mortgages filed statewide.

“The housing market has rebounded recently with single-family home sales volume increasing in nine of the last 10 months,” said Timothy M. Warren Jr., CEO of The Warren Group. “More home sales translate to more purchase mortgages. But the real story is the increased volume of refinance mortgages. Low interest rates and a revamped federal program called Home Affordable Refinance Program are making lower monthly payments possible for many more homeowners.”

More than 86 percent of total mortgages were refinances so far this year, compared to 84.5 percent during the same period last year. Nationally, the refinance share of applications is about 78 percent, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.

In Connecticut, all mortgage activity is up more than 16 percent in 2012. For the first four months of the year, 43,179 mortgages have been originated, up from 37,074 during the same period in 2011. Purchase mortgages rose 11.5 percent to 6,136 from 5,504 during the first four months of 2011. So far this year, refinance mortgages are up 17 percent – rising to 37,043, compared to 31,570 during the same period in 2011.

Rhode Island mortgage activity has also improved, but only in the refinance sector. A total of 12,974 mortgages have been originated so far this year, up from 10,416 during the same period last year. Non purchase mortgages rose to 11,191 from 8,562 in the first four months of 2011. However, purchase mortgages dropped 3.8 percent to 1,783, down from 1,854 during the same period last year.