The Fed said banks approved 7.1 million mortgages in 2011 and compared with 7.9 million in 2010 and 6.2 million in 1995, 16 years earlier.
Using data made available through the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act, the central bank said more than 7,600 home lenders contributed to the data, culminating in a report, "The Mortgage Market in 2011," made available Tuesday.
Isolating one month shows the sharp decline in mortgages issued. In June 2006, the peak year on record, nearly 712,000 home purchase loans were originated, the Fed said. In June 2011, on an annual basis only 254,000 mortgage loans were approved.
June was also the busiest month for loan approvals in 2011.
On an annual basis, mortgage loans in 2011 were down 64 percent from 2006, the report said.
Refinancing dropped by 13 percent in 2011 compared with 2010.
On a side note, the Fed said the 10 most active home lending firms have not increased their market share by much since 2006.
The top 10 lenders accounted for 37 percent of the home lending in 2011 and 35 percent in 2006, the Fed said.