VA purchase loans surge in S.C., Sumter


For the seventh-straight year, VA purchase loans increased year over year, with volume for fiscal year 2018 up 59 percent compared to five years ago, with a near 50 percent increase in Sumter, according to the annual VA loan statistics map recently released by Veterans United Home Loans, the nation's largest VA lender.

Purchase loans in South Carolina surged 85 percent in fiscal year 2018, compared to 2013.

The VA loan is a $0-down-payment mortgage option issued by private lenders and guaranteed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs that is available to veterans, active service members and select military spouses. VA loans are issued by private lenders and guaranteed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Locally, VA purchase loans increased by 48 percent in Sumter in that same time.

More than 10,900 purchase loans were issued in the state with an average loan amount of $226,986. In total, 15,859 home loans - including 5,265 refinance loans - were issued in 2018 for a total of $3.59 billion.

Comparatively, 13,847 home loans were issued for a total of $2.68 billion in 2013.

Nationally, the VA backed more than 610,000 loans worth more than $161 billion in 2018.

Created by the federal government in 1944 to help returning service members purchase homes without needing a down payment or excellent credit, the program has guaranteed more than 22 million loans to help veterans, active-duty military members and their families purchase homes or refinance their mortgages.

"More veterans have used this $0 down loan in the last five years than in the prior dozen years combined," said Chris Birk, director of education at Veterans United. "While the VA's data show refinance loans cooled in 2018, the purchase market remains strong as more veterans and military families turn to what's become the most powerful home loan on the market."

VA loans now make up about 10 percent of the mortgage market, a huge increase in market share from even just a decade ago, states a release.

"This historical benefit program has experienced a resurgence since the housing crisis," he said.

According to mortgage software firm Ellie Mae, the VA loan has had the lowest average interest rate on the market for the past 53 straight months, states the release.

And despite not requiring a down payment, the VA loan has had the lowest foreclosure rate of any loan product for 48 consecutive quarters, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association.

"This hard-earned job benefit turns 75 years old in 2019," Birk said. "The VA loan program continues to fulfill its original mission and help a new generation of veterans and service members achieve the American dream of homeownership."

For more information about VA home loans go to

For a look at VA home loans in other states and territories go to