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Record Number of Mortgage Applications Processed in 2020; APRs, Credit Scores and Average Income also Set Records

Thu, 07/01/2021

COLUMBIA, S.C. – The South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs (SCDCA) is releasing its 2020 Mortgage Log Report and 10 Year Snapshot. As the tenth annual report, it compares mortgage application data received from licensed brokers and lenders in calendar years 2011 through 2020. 

Mortgage brokers and lenders processed 265,651 applications in 2020, a record and substantial increase over 2019 (163,511), 2018 (131,309) and 2017 (135,323).  The average APR was 3.32%, the lowest ever reported. The low rates seemingly enticed more homeowners to refinance with that loan purpose outpacing home purchases for the first time since 2012, when the APR averaged 3.9%.   The average borrower credit score topped out at 733, the highest ever reported. The average borrower’s income also reached a record at $94,273, nearly $40,000 more than that reported in 2011 ($56,116).

Other highlights include:

  • Denials of applications decrease. Only 15.3% of applications were denied in 2020. This is the lowest ever reported and goes along with a downward trend that began in 2017. The highest reported was 38.6% in 2011.
  • Average value of property increases. The average appraised value of property in 2020 topped out at $292,965, an increase of over $100,000 when compared to 2011 ($190, 034).
  • Loan terms increase. Borrowers opted for longer terms in 2020 with 90% choosing a 20-30 year mortgage. This number has steadily increased over the past decade. Only 77.8% of consumers chose this loan term in 2011.

The full 2020 Mortgage Log Report and 10 Year Snapshot is available here.

Considering refinancing or purchasing a home? SCDCA encourages consumers to background a business before signing on the dotted line. Consumers should visit SCDCA’s website for links to licensing agencies and to check complaints. Simply go to www.consumer.sc.gov and click “How Do I…” then “Background a Business?”  

About SCDCA

The South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs aims to protect consumers from inequities in the marketplace through advocacy, complaint mediation, enforcement and education. To file a complaint or get information on consumer issues, visit www.consumer.sc.gov or call toll-free, 1 (800) 922-1594.