Low mortgage rates have helped push U.S. mortgage debt to the highest level ever. The last time Americans had nearly this much mortgage debt was back in 2008, but delinquencies are lower. In the second quarter of 2019, Americans’ mortgage balances totaled $9.4 trillion, $162 billion more than the previous quarter, according to data released Tuesday by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. This surpassed the previous peak of $9.3 trillion in mortgage debt recorded back in the third quarter of 2008. Overall, mortgage originations increased by $130 billion from the previous quarter to $474 billion as Americans sought to take advantage of low rates, particularly through refinancing. This marked the highest quarterly loan volume since the third quarter of 2017. Mortgage balances represent the largest component of household debt — and the boost in mortgage originations helped drive total household debt in the U.S. to its highest level ever, $13.86 trillion.
Source: Americans have record-breaking mortgage debt, worse than 2008