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A blog about the economy and the Sacramento-area real estate market.

September 11, 2008
Capital region's huge 2007 drop in subprime loans
My crack info-mining colleague Phillip Reese is digging into the newest federal data on home loans released today. He's found great numbers on the abrupt end of subprime lending and 100 percent financing in the capital region between 2006 and 2007.

In 2006, about 28 percent of home purchase first-lien loans in El Dorado, Placer, Sacramento and Yolo counties were subprime -- the now-famous term for risky high-interest adjustable-rate loans that fed much of the local housing bubble.
In 2007, the percentage of subprime loans fell drastically back to 12 percent in the region.

The numbers are from federal Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data, and gathered by the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council.

You see the same abrupt decline for second-lien loans -- often referred to as "piggybacks." Those enabled people to buy houses without putting down a penny. They financed it all.

In 2006, lenders made 14,090 of those seconds in the region. For every two conventional loans with a down payment here, there was one with such a second.

In 2007, lenders made only 5,524 seconds to cover the entire down payment. For every four conventional loans that year - as the downturn really started to gain speed - only one had such a second.

Says Phillip: "The same trends played out nationally. The official analysis of the new data from the Federal Reserve said there was 'a sharp contraction in the willingness of lenders and investors to offer loans to higher-risk borrowers, or, in some cases, to certain loan products that entailed features associated with elevated credit risk.'"

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