November 13, 2018
COLUMBIA, Mo. For the seventh-straight year, VA purchase loans increased year-over year, with volume for fiscal year 2018 up 59 percent compared to five years ago, according to the annual VA loan statistics map released by Veterans United Home Loans, the nation's largest VA lender. The VA backed more than 610,000 loans in FY18 worth over $161 billion.
"This historical benefit program has experienced a resurgence since the housing crisis," said Chris Birk, director of education at Veterans United. More Veterans have used this $0 down loan in the last five years than in the prior dozen years combined. While the VA's data show refinance loans cooled in 2018, the purchase market remains strong as more Veterans and military families turn to what's become the most powerful home loan on the market.
VA loans now make up about 10 percent of the mortgage market, a huge increase in market share from even just a decade ago. VA loans allow qualified Veterans to buy with no money down, no private mortgage insurance and offer more flexible and forgiving credit guidelines.
According to mortgage software firm Ellie Mae, the VA loan has had the lowest average interest rate on the market for the past 53 straight months. Despite not requiring a down payment, the VA loan has had the lowest foreclosure rate of any loan product for 48 consecutive quarters, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association.
This hard-earned job benefit turns 75 years old in 2019, Birk said. The VA loan program continues to fulfill its original mission and help a new generation of Veterans and service members achieve the American dream of homeownership.