The nation's largest originator started the year with a downturn in production.
Countrywide Financial Corp. announced January volume of $28 billion was off by about $7 billion from the previous month. The total, however, is higher than the $21 billion a year ago.
The monthly decline was due in part to three fewer business days in January, the Calabasas, Calif.-based lender said.
The bulk of originations came from the correspondent lending division with a contribution of $10 billion. Consumer markets added $8 billion, wholesale volume aggregated $5 billion, and the remaining portion came from Capital Markets and Treasury Bank, according to the announcement.
Home equity loan fundings declined 13% from December to nearly $3 billion, the report said, and subprime originations dropped 11% to $4 billion.
Purchase originations made up 45% of the production, while ARMs represented 53%.
The mortgage loan pipeline of $48 billion was mostly unchanged from the prior month's level, according to the report.
Countrywide, which claims the No. 1 mortgage originator and servicer spots for 2004, said it ended January with a record servicing portfolio size of $867 billion -- up 32% over last year.
The portfolio delinquency edged up during the month to 3.89% and foreclosures pending upticked to 0.45%, according to the report.