DALLAS (7/10/09)--Federal government initiatives to boost the nation’s housing market have created a lending boom for CU Members Mortgage and its credit union partners. CU Members Mortgage reported an increase of 83.2% in the number of closed loans from January through May, compared with the same period in 2008. About 4,580 loans for $756 million were closed in the first five months of 2009 compared to 2,500 units for $386 million in January through May 2008. While 77% of new mortgages take the form of refinancings, government programs also are stimulating new home purchases--especially for first-time buyers. An $8,000 first-time home buyer tax credit will apply to home purchases closed by Dec. 1 for qualified buyers. The tax incentive, combined with record low rates and an abundance of houses for sale in the market, has prompted many to buy homes for the first time, CU Members Mortgage said. “For many, low rates and incentives make ownership possible for the first time or allow them to move up to a larger home, and that is good for our country’s economic recovery,” said David Motley, president of CU Members Mortgage. “Likewise, those who are refinancing to a lower interest rate on their existing home loans typically lower their monthly payments, and that frees up cash for other needs.” CU Members Mortgage provides mortgage services to more than 900 credit unions, credit union service organizations and leagues.