Countrywide reported funding numbers that were down last month -- even as the company was cited as an acquisition target.
The Calabasas, California-based lender announced loan fundings for September totaled $33 billion, a decrease from $41 billion reported in August, but a 31% increase over last September.
Third quarter loan volume slightly decreased from the previous quarter to $126 billion, reported Countrywide Financial Corp. But, the figures represent a 98% leap over the third quarter of 2002.
Year-to-date loan fundings set an all-time record of $359 billion, said the company, representing $107 billion more than total production for calendar 2002.
Another milestone was the $606 billion in the servicing portfolio at month's end, up 49% from last September, said Countrywide.
Quarterly purchase fundings, which accounted for 38% of total fundings, also set a record at $39 billion, up 17% from the previous quarter, and 59% higher than the third quarter of 2002. The company, one of the nation's biggest mortgage lenders, said year-to-date purchase volume of $95 billion exceeded that produced in all of 2002.
A 30% growth from last quarter was reported in the demand for less interest-rate sensitive products, according to the announcement, which includes adjustable-rate, home equity and subprime loans.
Countrywide noted that the decline in interest rates at the beginning in September caused application volume to increase slightly over last month to $1.9 billion.
"The mortgage environment was clearly affected by a significant rise in rates during the third quarter," said COO Stanford L. Kurland in the announcement.
The company was cited by Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. as an acquisition target, according to the Wall Street Journal, which noted that Countrywide would be "an attractive, accretive acquisition for a large bank."