Business was off at Countrywide Financial Corp., but a rising pipeline indicates the tide may turn.
First quarter residential mortgage production edged down 4% from the prior quarter to $91 billion, according to the March operational data released today, but was 20% higher than a year ago. Fundings were aggregated from 447,405 loans.
Correspondent lending volume was $33 billion, the monthly summary said, while direct originations were $28 billion. Broker business was $17 billion, Countrywide reported, while Capital Markets and Treasury bank fundings accounted for the rest.
During the month of March, the Calabasas, Calif.-based behemoth reportedly originated $36 billion, 35% more than February. Countrywide attributed the increase to four more working days in March than in February.
Purchases accounted for $41 billion of first quarter production, the mortgage banker reported, while adjustable rate fundings were $49 billion.
Countrywide said there was $8.8 billion in first quarter home equity volume, down from a record $9.2 billion during the 4th quarter. Subprime originations, which are now reported as "nonprime," reached $9.8 billion, also down from the prior quarter's $11 billion.
The mortgage pipeline jumped to $59 billion from $48 billion during the 4th quarter -- indicating a possible surge in upcoming production.
Inching closer to the trillion dollar mark, the servicing portfolio was reported at $893 billion, up from $838 billion at the end of last year.