WASHINGTON – Data released Aug. 1 by the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council show the number of home purchase loans in 2002 increased among all ethnic groups, albeit not at the same percentage rate. The FFIEC prepares and distributes individual disclosure statements and aggregate reports on behalf of its member agencies that include the FDIC., Federal Reserve Board, NCUA, OCC, OTS, and HUD. The FFIEC's 2002 data included mortgage lending transactions at 7,771 financial institutions covered by the Home Mortgage disclosure Act in metropolitan areas throughout the U.S. The data include disclosure statements for each financial, aggregate data for each metropolitan area, and nationwide summary statistics regarding lending patterns. The 2002 data include a total of 31 million reported loans and applications, representing an approximate 13% increase from 2001. The increase, said the FFIEC, was primarily due to the increase in refinancing activity caused by low mortgage rates. From 2001 to 2002, the number of home purchase loans increased 11% for Hispanics, 18% for Asians, and 23% for Native Americans. Over the same period, blacks and whites had more moderate increases in home purchase lending – 2% and 3%, respectively. The number of home purchase loans also increased moderately from 2001 to 2002 to all income groups. Applicants with incomes less than 80% of the median for the metropolitan area showed an increase of 5%; applications with incomes 80-99% of the median, 3%; applicants with incomes 100-119% of the median, 4%; and applicants with incomes 120% or more above the median, 4%. Denial rates for conventional home purchase loans in 2002 dropped for the fourth consecutive year. In 1993, the overall denial rate was 17% and by 1998 this rate had increased to 29%. The denial rate fell to 28% in 1999; 27% in 2000; and to 21% in 2001. In 2002, the denial rate was down to 14%. All ethnic and racial groups experienced lower denial rates in 2002 compared to 2001, but those rates varied among racial and ethnic groups. In 2002, denial rates for conventional home loan purchases were 26% for black applicants; 23%, Native Americans; 18%, Hispanics; 12% whites; and 10% for Asian applicants. Lastly, from 1993 to 2001, the proportion of home loan applications of all types with missing race or ethnicity data increased from 8% to 30%, but it fell to 28% in 2002. -

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