|Quarterly mortgage production was down by nearly half from a year earlier at Citigroup Inc. -- which reported a massive loss.
Last year's residential originations were $104.3 billion, the New York-based company reported today. Fundings tumbled from $163.3 billion in 2007.
Fourth-quarter 2008 production was $16.6 billion -- sinking from $22.0 billion in the prior quarter and down by nearly half from $32.0 billion a year earlier.
The third-party mortgage servicing portfolio ended the year at $646.6 billion, up slightly from $646.5 billion at the end of September and $599.6 billion at the end of 2007.
Citi said it held $197.4 billion in home loans as of Dec. 31, lower than $202.0 billion on Sept. 30 and $218.6 billion a year earlier.
Including loans it owns, Citi serviced $844.0 billion in mortgages at the end of last year, higher than $818.2 billion at the end of 2007.
The 90-day delinquency rate on residential loans was 4.73 percent at the end of December, climbing from 3.85 percent in the third quarter and 2.22 percent 12 months prior.
Citi reported an $18.7 billion loss for 2008 -- deteriorating substantially from a $3.6 billion profit in 2007. During just the fourth quarter, the company had an $8.3 billion loss -- worse than the $2.8 billion third-quarter loss but better than the $9.8 billion loss in the fourth-quarter 2007. Included in the results were $4.6 billion in subprime net write-downs, $1.3 billion in net Alt-A write-downs and $1.0 billion in commercial real estate write-downs
"Higher credit costs reflected a weakening of leading credit indicators, including a continued rise in delinquencies in first and second mortgages," the report said.
The direct staff stood at 323,000 on Dec. 31, tumbling from 352,000 employees on Sept. 30 and 375,000 at the end of 2007.
The number of CitiFinancial branches slipped to 2,347 at the end of 2008 from 2,498 offices 12 months prior.
Citi said it will split into two divisions: Citicorp and Citi Holdings. It expects to close on a joint venture with Morgan Stanley in the second half of this year where it will get a 49 percent stake in the new entity, Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, in exchange for contributing subsidiary Smith Barney.