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Top 50 Cities for VA Loans in the Benefit's Biggest Year Ever

VA loans had their biggest year ever in Fiscal Year 2021, thanks to interest rates near modern-day lows and a wave of younger homebuyers. Check out the biggest markets for this historic benefit program.

VA loans just had their biggest year ever.

This historic benefit program guaranteed a record 1.4 million loans in Fiscal Year 2021, a nearly 17% jump from last year's former record haul, according to data from the Department of Veterans Affairs. VA purchase loans experienced their 10th year-over-year increase in a row, with younger Veterans and service members leading the way.

More than half of all VA purchase loans in FY21 went to Millennial and Generation Z Veterans.

But the story again this year was refinance. Riding a prolonged way of low rates, the program backed more than 876,000 refinance loans, up an incredible 22% from last fiscal year.

The 50 largest VA loan markets accounted for 54% of all VA loans in FY21.

Key Takeaways for Top 50 Cities

  • The Top 10 cities were mostly unchanged from last year. Virginia Beach jumped ahead of Phoenix to take the No. 2 spot, San Antonio switched places with Dallas for No. 7, and Seattle jumped over Colorado Springs at No. 9.
  • Fifteen markets saw VA lending increase 20% or more in FY21, with two cities (Fayetteville, N.C., and Albuquerque) experiencing a 30% increase.
  • The Top 5 markets that experienced the largest year-over-year growth in VA loans were: Fayetteville, N.C., Albuquerque, Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, August-Richmond County, Ga., and Killeen-Temple-Fort Hood, Texas.
  • The Top 5 cities accounted for more VA loans than the program backed in any year prior to FY20.

Top 50 Cities For VA Loans in FY21

MSA FY 2020 Loans FY 2021 Loans % Difference
Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV 49,761 61,411 23.4%
Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC 32,132 40,175 25%
Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, AZ 35,608 36,992 3.89%
San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos, CA 29,773 32,139 7.95%
Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA 27,930 30,013 7.46%
Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta, GA 27,029 29,379 8.69%
San Antonio, TX 23,118 27,810 20.3%
Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX 24,934 26,237 5.23%
Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA 21,464 23,388 8.96%
Colorado Springs, CO 21,700 22,940 5.71%
Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL 19,496 21,477 10.2%
Las Vegas-Paradise, NV 19,814 20,867 5.31%
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana, CA 18,321 20,247 10.5%
Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, TX 16,690 20,231 21.2%
Baltimore-Towson, MD 15,241 18,724 22.8%
Denver-Aurora, CO 18,454 18,640 1.01%
Jacksonville, FL 15,064 17,566 16.6%
Chicago-Naperville-Joliet, IL-IN-WI 14,913 16,909 13.4%
Sacramento-Arden-Arcade-Roseville, CA 12,360 12,763 3.26%
St. Louis, MO-IL 10,336 12,639 22.3%
Orlando-Kissimmee, FL 11,313 12,456 10.1%
Portland-Vancouver-Beaverton, OR-WA 11,577 12,175 5.17%
Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI 10,759 11,885 10.5%
Fayetteville, NC 8,566 11,203 30.8%
Honolulu, HI 9,318 11,152 19.7%
Tucson, AZ 9,385 10,407 10.9%
Killeen-Temple-Fort Hood, TX 8,209 10,292 25.4%
Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach, FL 9,545 10,286 7.76%
Charlotte-Gastonia-Concord, NC-SC 9,310 9,985 7.25%
Kansas City, MO-KS 8,705 9,949 14.3%
Richmond, VA 8,118 9,605 18.3%
Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD 7,631 9,593 25.7%
Detroit-Warren-Livonia, MI 8,429 9,293 10.3%
Nashville-Davidson-Murfreesboro-Franklin, TN 8,483 8,951 5.52%
Pensacola-Ferry Pass-Brent, FL 7,544 8,900 17.9%
Oklahoma City, OK 7,040 8,647 22.8%
Indianapolis-Carmel, IN 7,864 8,542 8.62%
Clarksville, TN-KY 6,993 8,534 22%
Austin-Round Rock, TX 8,003 8,512 6.36%
Charleston-North Charleston, SC 7,462 8,406 12.6%
Raleigh-Cary, NC MSA 7,401 8,207 10.8%
Columbia, SC 6,607 8,114 22.8%
Augusta-Richmond County, GA-SC 6,294 7,900 25.5%
Jacksonville, NC MSA 6,303 7,670 21.6%
Fort Walton Beach-Crestview-Destin, FL MSA 5,938 7,075 19.1%
Cincinnati-Middletown, OH-KY-IN 6,120 6,937 13.3%
Albuquerque, NM 5,183 6,749 30.2%
Columbus, OH 6,053 6,594 8.94%
Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, FL 5,653 6,434 13.8%
Boise City-Nampa, ID 5,872 6,391 8.84%

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