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VA Purchase Loans Increase for 8th Straight Year in FY 2019

VA loans to purchase homes increased for the eighth straight year in Fiscal Year 2019, according to data released recently by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

VA loans to purchase homes increased for the eighth straight year in Fiscal Year 2019, according to data released recently by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

The VA backed 384,495 purchase loans in FY19, a minor increase from the year prior. Total VA loan volume was up slightly compared to FY 2018 because of an increase in refinance activity. The VA's fiscal year runs Oct. 1 through Sept 30.

Here's a look at overall VA loan volume for the last five years:

  • FY19: 624,544
  • FY18: 610,512
  • FY17: 740,339
  • FY16: 707,107
  • FY15: 631,142

The average VA loan amount increased to $281,225 in FY19 from $264,197 in FY18.

Millennial and Gen Z Growth

Veterans and service members have turned to their home loan benefit in record numbers since the Great Recession. Many lenders tightened requirements in the wake of the housing crisis, making it difficult for some veterans and service members to secure conventional mortgage financing.

Historically, VA loans accounted for about 2 percent of the mortgage market. Today, they represent nearly 12 percent of the market.

Millennial and Generation Z veterans and service members are fueling the increase in VA lending. Unlike younger civilians, VA borrowers don't have to spend years saving for a down payment or building a top-tier credit profile. Many younger veterans also aren't weighed down by massive student loan debt.

The VA loan program celebrated its 75th anniversary this year, and this benefit continues to fulfill its original mission and expand access to homeownership for those who serve our country.

Top VA Lenders in FY19

More than 1,400 lenders made at least one VA loan in FY19. But 10 lenders accounted for nearly 40 percent of all VA loans.

For the second year in a row, Veterans United is the nation's largest VA lender, with an overall market share of about 8.5 percent. We've been the No. 1 VA lender for purchase loans since 2016.

Here's a look at the Top 10 VA lenders for overall loans:

Lender Rank Lender Total Loans Market Share
1 Veterans United Home Loans 53,328 8.5%
2 Quicken Loans 38,188 6.1%
3 USAA 35,085 5.6%
4 Navy Federal Credit Union 29,955 4.8%
5 United Shore Financial Services 25,076 4%
6 LoanDepot 16,751 2.7%
7 Freedom Mortgage 15,732 2.5%
8 Fairway Independent Mortgage Corp. 12,444 2%
9 The Federal Savings Bank 9,336 1.5%
10 New Day Financial 9,047 1.4%

Here are the Top 10 lenders for VA purchase loans:

Lender Rank Lender Purchase Loans Market Share
1 Veterans United Home Loans 46,019 12%
2 USAA 28,484 7.4%
3 Navy Federal Credit Union 26,391 6.9%
4 Fairway Independent Mortgage Corp. 10,401 2.7%
5 United Shore Financial Services 10,210 2.7%
6 Quicken Loans 9,581 2.5%
7 Wells Fargo 5,504 1.4%
8 Movement Mortgage 5,431 1.4%
9 DHI Mortgage Company 5,034 1.4%
10 Guild Mortgage Company 5,034 1.3%

The VA doesn't rate or endorse lenders, nor does it actually make VA loans. Instead, the government provides a financial guaranty to private lenders on behalf of eligible veterans and service members.

That guaranty is at the heart of the VA loan program, and it gives lenders the ability to make these loans with significant benefits, like $0 down payment, no mortgage insurance and the industry's lowest average interest rates.

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