A new report from California-based Attom Data Solutions shows that 5,160 mortgages secured by residential property were originated in the first three months of 2022 in Northwest Arkansas. That’s down 27.6% from the first quarter of 2021 and down 21.4% from the fourth quarter of 2021.
Attom Data Solutions tracks national housing and foreclosure data. The report includes 218 metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) with a population of at least 200,000 and at least 1,000 total loan originations in the year’s first quarter.
Refinance activity is down even sharper. Attom’s analysis showed 2,565 owners refinanced a mortgage in Northwest Arkansas in the first quarter. That’s down 41% from an all-time high of 4,362 in the first quarter of 2021.
Attom’s report includes two other Arkansas metros. There were 6,571 new loans in the Little Rock metro in the first quarter this year, down nearly 17% from the first quarter of 2021. In the Fort Smith metro, there were 1,715 mortgages secured in the first quarter, down 18% from the first quarter last year.
According to Attom, there were 2.71 million U.S. mortgages secured by residential property in the first quarter of 2022. That’s down 18% from the fourth quarter of 2021 — the largest quarterly decrease since 2017 — and down 32% from the first quarter of 2021 — the biggest annual drop since 2014.
The decline, which marked the fourth straight quarterly drop, was due to double-digit declines in both equity and purchase activity.
“The drop-off in Q1 refinancing activity is no surprise with mortgage rates rising as rapidly as they have,” Attom executive vice president Rick Sharga said. “But many forecasts expected purchase loans to remain strong in 2022, and even increase in both the number of loans originated and the dollar volume of those loans.”