Fundings, servicing and employee count last year were up from 2003 at American Home Mortgage Investment Corp. While the wholesaler/retailer attributes the impressive performance to a growing market share, surging ARM activity also appears to be related to the rise.
The New York-based lender announced fourth quarter loan production of $6.7 billion jumped 26% from the previous quarter.
Volume of $23.0 billion during 2004 was up from the prior year's $21.6 billion, the real estate investment trust reported.
"Our origination activity benefited from increased market share, which reached a new high," said company chief executive Michael Strauss in the announcement.
American Home estimated its national market share reportedly grew 0.12% from the third quarter to 0.95% -- reportedly based on Fannie Mae's forecast of national market size.
Purchase loans accounted for 54% of the latest volume, while refinances comprised the remaining 46%, the lender reported.
Adjustable-rate mortgages jumped to 55% -- from 28% in the third quarter.
In the fourth quarter, by adding 129 more employees, "the Company continued to expand its retail and wholesale sales forces, with the quarter-end combined size of our sales force rising to a total of 1,867 loan officers and account executives, also a new high," Strauss said. In the third quarter, American Home said it expected the period's 372 additional loan officers to increase production in the subsequent quarter.
As of the end of the fourth quarter, the loan servicing portfolio grew 24% from the previous quarter to a principal balance of $16.8 billion, consisting of a milestone 155,000 loans -- the first time loans serviced have exceeded 100,000, according to the earnings announcement.