|Home loan fundings have picked up steam at MetLife Inc.'s new mortgage unit.
Residential production was $5.8 billion last year, the company reported to MortgageDaily.com. MetLife Home Loans began operations in September 2008 when it acquired most of First Horizon National Corp.'s mortgage operations.
Fourth-quarter 2008 originations were $4.5 billion, MetLife said. Third-quarter production -- including $1.3 billion originated as MetLife Bank during September and $3.1 billion originated as First Horizon in July and August -- was $4.4 billion.
Last month, residential fundings were $2.8 billion -- suggesting first-quarter originations could exceed $8 billion.
MetLife serviced 506,601 residential mortgages as Dec. 31. The portfolio included 159,286 loans owned by MetLife and 347,315 loans serviced for others.
Mortgages and consumer loans held-for-investment were $49.4 billion at yearend, rising from $49.2 billion at the end of the third quarter.
Commercial mortgage holdings were $36.0 billion on Dec. 31, up slightly from $35.9 billion three months earlier.
Net income at MetLife was $3.1 billion last year, according to its earnings report. Income fell from $4.2 billion in 2007..
During just the fourth quarter, earnings were $1.0 billion, up from $0.6 billion in the third quarter and $1.1 billion a year earlier.
The New York-based institution said it employed 2,794 full-time mortgage employees at the end of December.