Strong refinance activity helped residential lenders lift third-quarter loan production, and the elevated originations have continued into the current quarter.
U.S. lenders originated around $354 billion in home loans during the third quarter based on an analysis by MortgageDaily.com. Business jumped roughly 22 percent from the second quarter’s revised $289 billion.
Behind the stellar performance was an increase in refinance volume as the 30-year mortgage fell from an average of 4.740 percent at the end of May to 4.351 percent at the end of August based on the U.S. Mortgage Market Index report from Mortech Inc. and MortgageDaily.com.
Driven by the Greek sovereign debt crisis and the Federal Reserve’s disclosure in September that it plans to extend the maturities of its Treasury investments and reinvest principal payments from agency debt and mortgage-backed securities investments into more agency MBS, mortgage rates have fallen even further. The improvement has kept refinance activity elevated and potentially could have fourth-quarter production even higher.
The Federal Housing Administration endorsed $49.7 billion in mortgages during the third quarter, leaving it with a market share of around 14 percent. FHA market share fell from a revised 18 percent in the second quarter.
Wells Fargo & Co. retained its No. 1 title during the third quarter. But Bank of America Corp. slipped to third place behind JPMorgan Chase & Co., and Ally Financial Inc. also moved down a notch.
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Nearly half of all residential production was generated by the top four lenders.
Citigroup Inc., Quicken Loans Inc. and Flagstar Bancorp Inc. each increased volume by at least half compared to the second quarter. But BofA saw new business tumble 18 percent — the worst performance of the biggest lenders.
Compared to the third-quarter 2010, MetLife Home Loans turned in the strongest performance with an increase of 16 percent.
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