Mortgage Loans Closed Down 15% at City S&ls in January / from January 1985

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mortgage loans during January, down 15.76 percent from $26 mill ion in January 1985 and down 21.5 percent from $27.9 million a month earlier, according to the monthly financial report published by the Federal Home Loan Bank of Topeka.

Statewide, savings and loans closed $69.7 million in total mortgage loans - a 6.08 percent increase from $65.7 million closed in January 1985, but a 47.55 percent decline from $132.9 million in December.

The pronounced drop in total mortgage loans closed by savings and loans between December 1985 and January 1986 could be the result of holiday activities and cool temperatures, believes Michael L. Toalson, president of the Oklahoma League of Savings Institutions.

Of total mortgage loans closed by Oklahoma City metro area savings institutions, $2.4 million were for construction, which was down 56.3 percent from $5.5 million closed in January 1985. The figurewas down 7.69 percent from $2.6 million in December.

The general economic undertow of Oklahoma's economy, coupled with an excess of inventory on the market, are largely responsible for the lower figures, Toalson said.

"A number of people in our industry were gearing their business plans to hang on until July 1987, when things were expected to get better," he said, "But those crystal-ball forecasts were tossed aside when oil prices dropped."

Industry sources were forecasting 1986 to parallel 1985 - a marginal year for real estate financing, he said. While little improvement was expected, neither was a downturn.

But plummeting oil prices changed the picture, Toalson said. He added that expected furloughs of state employees, layoffs by companies such as TG&Y Stores Co., and problems in the transportation industry could contribute to the situation. …