November 25, 2013
First-of-its-kind map debuted to increase understanding on military homeownership
COLUMBIA, Mo. - Veterans United Home Loans, the nation's leading dedicated VA lender, launched a first-of-its-kind interactive VA Loan Stats Map that breaks down national VA loan statistics by state. The interactive map contains national information from 2007 to 2013 and state-level data from 2009 to 2013.
"This map tells a homeownership story for veterans, service members and their families throughout the country - a 370 percent increase in a VA loan usage nationwide in the past five years, and a 17 percent increase in just the past year," said Chris Birk, author of The Book on VA Loans, executive editor at Veterans United and a national expert on the VA Loan program. "This hard-earned benefit has become a lifeline for military homebuyers squeezed by tight credit and tougher lending requirements. This tool helps illustrate just how critical this nearly 70-year-old home loan program has become for those who serve our country."
Veterans United Home Loans, a VA-approved lender, is not affiliated with any government agency. The lender aggregated data provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs to create the VA Loan Stats Map. National information provided by the map includes total loans, total loan amount and average loan amounts based on VA fiscal years, which end Sept. 30.
VA has guaranteed more than 20 million mortgages since the program's creation in 1944. Today, this government-backed mortgage is in many ways more powerful and more important than ever. Nine in 10 VA borrowers purchase with no money down, and the program's more flexible underwriting requirements help expand homeownership opportunities for this deserving demographic. In fact, about 80 percent of VA borrowers couldn't have qualified for conventional financing. Despite that, VA loans have exhibited the lowest foreclosure rate of any loan product on the market - including prime loans - for nearly all of the past five years, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.
"When we analyze the state of mortgage industry in America, it is good news for veterans because VA loans are reliable and achievable, unlike some other products," said Justin McHood of Zillow.com. "The VA Loan Stats Map also compares refinances to new purchases, along with showing state-by-state growth in military purchases. This is a level of data we have all wanted and now have."
The VA Loan Stats Map also provides for quick comparisons among states. At the state level, California and Florida ranked No. 1 and No. 2 for total VA Loans in 2013, driven in large part by a boost in refinance loans. Those same two states were No. 1 and No. 2, respectively, for new home purchases using VA loans.
Veterans United released the stats map as the VA loan program nears the start of its seventh decade. A program created to help level the playing field for service members continues to make a huge difference in the lives of veterans and their families.
"The VA just guaranteed its 20 millionth loan, part of a record-breaking year with nearly 630,000 loans," Birk said. "We are talking about $142 billion in lending that is focused on the needs of veterans and active military - needs that are met by a program that often requires no money down, has flexible credit requirements and is all about protecting the veteran."