The Tennessee Housing Development Agency just wrapped up its best March ever and its best first quarter ever for home loan production.
Tennesseans applied for $46.2 million in Great Choice Home Loans last month, a 27 percent jump over March 2017. The agency's previous record for the month of March was $44 million, set in 2008, just before the Great Recession took hold in Tennessee.
"THDA has a very clear niche, helping families who have the financial strength to afford homeownership but need assistance with the down payment," said THDA Executive Director Ralph M.
Perrey. "It's important that these homebuyers are able to find responsible financing options and not get shut out of the market."
THDA kicked off the calendar year with its strongest January ever for home loan production, followed by its second strongest February. With the March numbers now in the books, THDA has officially posted its best-ever first quarter with more than $110 million in home loan applications, which is 61 percent higher than the first quarter of last year.
"We help make sure Tennessee families have the opportunity to make the leap from renting to owning, which is a vital part of our state's continued economic growth," said Mr. Perrey. "Homeownership is still at historic lows across the state as a lingering effect of the economic downturn a decade ago, but THDA is providing a shot in the arm to our state's housing market with our home loan programs."
More than half of the homes purchased with a THDA home loan in the first quarter of 2018 were located in a ZIP Code identified by THDA as facing ongoing challenges, especially in terms of foreclosures and property values. In March 2017, THDA began offering a new financial assistance program to help qualified homebuyers purchase existing homes in these areas. Approved applicants receive $15,000 in the form of a second mortgage loan to help cover their down payment and closing costs when buying a home with a Great Choice Home Loan.
THDA makes its Great Choice Home Loans available through a network of private lenders in all areas of Tennessee. All Great Choice Home Loans include the option of financial assistance in the form of a second mortgage loan without interest or monthly payment. These second loans are limited to five percent of the home's purchase price except in designated zip codes.