WASHINGTON (8/30/11)--Credit unions in the Washington, D.C., area are reporting an increase in mortgage applications because record-low interest rates are spurring members to refinance their mortgages or buy a house. The surge in mortgage refinancings is proceeding despite heightened worries of a double-dip recession (The Washington Post Aug. 27). NASA FCU in Upper Marlboro, Md., has seen a 50% increase in mortgage applications and loans, Bill White, the credit union’s vice president of real estate lending, told the Post. Roughly 70% of the mortgage applications submitted to NASA FCU in the first three weeks of August were for refinancings, although new-purchase submissions also have gradually risen, White added. At OAS FCU in Washington, D.C., mortgage applications for new homes are increasing, Carlos Calderon, OAS president/CEO, told the newspaper. Nearly 75% of mortgage applications submitted to the credit union are for new homes, he added. Based on the uptick of applications since the start of August, the credit union expects its mortgage portfolio to further expand, Calderon told the paper. OAS had expanded its total mortgage portfolio nearly 25% before the latest dip in rates. The Credit Union National Association and the Maryland and District of Columbia Credit Union Association provided some of the credit union contacts for the article. To read the article, use the link.