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VA purchase loans continue to increase

Albany Herald - 11/22/2018

Nov. 22--ALBANY -- Veterans Administration purchase loans increased year after year to reach an increase of 59 percent in Fiscal Year 2018 compared to 2013, according to the annual VA loan statistics map released by Veterans United Home Loans. Purchase loans spiked in Georgia to more than 95 percent compared to five years ago.

The VA backed more than 610,000 loans in FY '18 nationally, worth more than $161 billion.

"This historical benefit program has experienced a resurgence since the housing crisis," Chris Birk, director of education at Veterans United, said in a news release. "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, which is a large increase in market share from a decade ago. These loans allow qualified veterans to purchase with no money down and no private mortgage insurance, and offer more flexible and forgiving credit deadlines. The VA loan also has had the lowest average interest rate on the market for the past 53 months, according to mortgage software firm Ellie Mae.

Additionally, 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."

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(c)2018 The Albany Herald, Ga.

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