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Top 50 Cities for VA Loans in a Record Year for Veteran Homeowners

The historic VA loan program backed an all-time record 1.2 million loans in Fiscal Year 2020. See which cities led the way in VA loan usage and growth year-over-year.

The historic VA loan program just made, well, history. Riding a wave of rock-bottom interest rates, Veterans obtained more than 1.2 million VA loans this fiscal year, smashing the all-time record for this 76-year-old benefit program.

Total VA loan closings doubled year-over-year, according to Department of Veterans Affairs data. The VA backed more loans in Fiscal Year 2020 than it did in the previous two fiscal years combined.

For the ninth-consecutive year, VA purchase loans increased year-over-year. But the big story of FY20 was the wave of refinance loans.

With interest rates at modern-day lows, Veteran homeowners used their home loan benefit to lock into lower mortgage payments in numbers never before seen.

Key Takeaways

  • Nationally, VA purchase loans were up 11.4 percent year over year
  • Nationally, VA refinance loans increased a whopping 241 percent year over year
  • Use of the VA's Streamline refinance option jumped an incredible 598 percent year-over-year
  • Refinance loans were up more than 100 percent for every Veteran age demographic year-over year

Top 50 Cities Takeaways

  • Twenty-eight cities saw VA loan usage increase by 100 percent or more year-over-year
  • The five cities with the most VA loans in FY20 were: Washington, D.C. (49,764), Phoenix (35,607), Virginia Beach (32,132), San Diego (29,774) and Riverside, Calif. (27,930).
  • Washington, D.C. Phoenix and Virginia Beach finished 1-2-3 in total VA loans for FY19, too.
  • Of the Top 50 cities, San Diego (151 percent), Los Angeles (151 percent), Washington, D.C. (147 percent), Honolulu (142 percent) and Baltimore (137 percent) were the Top 5 cities for biggest year-over-year growth in VA loans.

Top 50 Cities for VA Loans By Total Loans

MSA FY 19 Number of Loans FY 20 Number of Loans % Difference
Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV MSA 20,141 49,764 147.08%
Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, AZ MSA 16,567 35,607 114.93%
Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC MSA 14,821 32,132 116.80%
San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos, CA MSA 11,842 29,774 151.43%
Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA MSA 12,812 27,930 118.00%
Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta, GA MSA 13,998 27,030 93.10%
Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX MSA 11,383 24,934 119.05%
San Antonio, TX MSA 10,469 23,117 120.81%
Colorado Springs, CO MSA 10,520 21,700 106.27%
Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA MSA 10,305 21,461 108.26%
Las Vegas-Paradise, NV MSA 10,174 19,814 94.75%
Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL 10,502 19,495 85.63%
Denver-Aurora, CO MSA 8,641 18,454 113.56%
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana, CA MSA 7,287 18,320 151.41%
Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, TX MSA 7,757 16,690 115.16%
Baltimore-Towson, MD MSA 6,408 15,240 137.83%
Jacksonville, FL MSA 7,941 15,064 89.70%
Chicago-Naperville-Joliet, IL-IN-WI MSA 7,313 14,913 103.92%
Sacramento-Arden-Arcade-Roseville, CA MSA 5,433 12,360 127.50%
Portland-Vancouver-Beaverton, OR-WA MSA 5,350 11,577 116.39%
Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD MSA 5,739 11,384 98.36%
Orlando-Kissimmee, FL MSA 5,869 11,312 92.74%
Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI MSA 5,133 10,759 109.60%
New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, NY-NJ-PA MSA 5,189 10,451 101.41%
St. Louis, MO-IL MSA 5,573 10,335 85.45%
Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach, FL MSA 4,720 9,545 102.22%
Tucson, AZ MSA 4,370 9,385 114.76%
Honolulu, HI MSA 3,848 9,318 142.15%
Charlotte-Gastonia-Concord, NC-SC MSA 4,559 9,311 104.23%
Kansas City, MO-KS MSA 4,658 8,705 86.88%
Fayetteville, NC MSA 4,334 8,567 97.67%
Nashville-Davidson-Murfreesboro-Franklin, TN MSA 4,329 8,483 95.96%
Detroit-Warren-Livonia, MI MSA 4,408 8,429 91.22%
Killeen-Temple-Fort Hood, TX MSA 4,507 8,209 82.14%
Richmond, VA MSA 3,945 8,118 105.78%
Austin-Round Rock, TX MSA 3,584 8,004 123.33%
Indianapolis-Carmel, IN MSA 3,906 7,863 101.31%
Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, MA-NH MSA 3,485 7,678 120.32%
Pensacola-Ferry Pass-Brent, FL MSA 4,079 7,544 84.95%
Charleston-North Charleston, SC MSA 3,717 7,461 100.73%
Raleigh-Cary, NC MSA 3,582 7,401 106.62%
Oklahoma City, OK MSA 3,981 7,040 76.84%
Clarksville, TN-KY MSA 4,094 6,992 70.79%
Columbia, SC MSA 3,466 6,607 90.62%
Jacksonville, NC MSA 3,634 6,303 73.45%
Augusta-Richmond County, GA-SC MSA 3,463 6,293 81.72%
Cincinnati-Middletown, OH-KY-IN MSA 3,324 6,120 84.12%
Columbus, OH MSA 3,321 6,053 82.26%
Fort Walton Beach-Crestview-Destin, FL MSA 3,079 5,938 92.85%
Boise City-Nampa, ID MSA 3,141 5,872 86.95%

Top 50 Cities for VA Loans Sorted by Growth (%)

MSA FY 19 Number of Loans FY 20 Number of Loans % Difference
MSA Name FY19 Number of Loans FY20 Number of Loans % Difference
San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos, CA MSA 11,842 29,774 151.43%
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana, CA MSA 7,287 18,320 151.41%
Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV MSA 20,141 49,764 147.08%
Honolulu, HI MSA 3,848 9,318 142.15%
Baltimore-Towson, MD MSA 6,408 15,240 137.83%
Sacramento-Arden-Arcade-Roseville, CA MSA 5,433 12,360 127.50%
Austin-Round Rock, TX MSA 3,584 8,004 123.33%
San Antonio, TX MSA 10,469 23,117 120.81%
Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, MA-NH MSA 3,485 7,678 120.32%
Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX MSA 11,383 24,934 119.05%
Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA MSA 12,812 27,930 118.00%
Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC MSA 14,821 32,132 116.80%
Portland-Vancouver-Beaverton, OR-WA MSA 5,350 11,577 116.39%
Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, TX MSA 7,757 16,690 115.16%
Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, AZ MSA 16,567 35,607 114.93%
Tucson, AZ MSA 4,370 9,385 114.76%
Denver-Aurora, CO MSA 8,641 18,454 113.56%
Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI MSA 5,133 10,759 109.60%
Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA MSA 10,305 21,461 108.26%
Raleigh-Cary, NC MSA 3,582 7,401 106.62%
Colorado Springs, CO MSA 10,520 21,700 106.27%
Richmond, VA MSA 3,945 8,118 105.78%
Charlotte-Gastonia-Concord, NC-SC MSA 4,559 9,311 104.23%
Chicago-Naperville-Joliet, IL-IN-WI MSA 7,313 14,913 103.92%
Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach, FL MSA 4,720 9,545 102.22%
New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, NY-NJ-PA MSA 5,189 10,451 101.41%
Indianapolis-Carmel, IN MSA 3,906 7,863 101.31%
Charleston-North Charleston, SC MSA 3,717 7,461 100.73%
Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD MSA 5,739 11,384 98.36%
Fayetteville, NC MSA 4,334 8,567 97.67%
Nashville-Davidson-Murfreesboro-Franklin, TN MSA 4,329 8,483 95.96%
Las Vegas-Paradise, NV MSA 10,174 19,814 94.75%
Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta, GA MSA 13,998 27,030 93.10%
Fort Walton Beach-Crestview-Destin, FL MSA 3,079 5,938 92.85%
Orlando-Kissimmee, FL MSA 5,869 11,312 92.74%
Detroit-Warren-Livonia, MI MSA 4,408 8,429 91.22%
Columbia, SC MSA 3,466 6,607 90.62%
Jacksonville, FL MSA 7,941 15,064 89.70%
Boise City-Nampa, ID MSA 3,141 5,872 86.95%
Kansas City, MO-KS MSA 4,658 8,705 86.88%
Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL 10,502 19,495 85.63%
St. Louis, MO-IL MSA 5,573 10,335 85.45%
Pensacola-Ferry Pass-Brent, FL MSA 4,079 7,544 84.95%
Cincinnati-Middletown, OH-KY-IN MSA 3,324 6,120 84.12%
Columbus, OH MSA 3,321 6,053 82.26%
Killeen-Temple-Fort Hood, TX MSA 4,507 8,209 82.14%
Augusta-Richmond County, GA-SC MSA 3,463 6,293 81.72%
Oklahoma City, OK MSA 3,981 7,040 76.84%
Jacksonville, NC MSA 3,634 6,303 73.45%
Clarksville, TN-KY MSA 4,094 6,992 70.79%

Developing the Top Cities List

Veterans United Home Loans has been the country's largest VA purchase lender since 2016.

To create this list, we obtained VA lending data from the Department of Veterans Affairs for Fiscal Years 2020 and 2019 .

Metro areas needed at least 2,000 VA loans over the two-year span to be included in the analysis.

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