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Quarterly residential mortgage production by lender. Subprime, Alt-A, home equity and conforming originations. Volume by quarter since 2003.

Outlook for ARM Originations Impacted by Falling Fixed Rates

Q1 mortgage production projected at $489 billion

Jan. 18, 2013

By Mortgage Daily staff

Mortgage bankers now see lower fixed rates during the first three months of this year, prompting lower expectations for annual adjustable-rate mortgage activity. Meanwhile, although loan originators can expect refinance production to diminish -- purchase financing is projected to pick up.

Residential loan originations by all U.S. lenders are expected to fall from $489 billion in the first quarter to $394 billion in the second quarter.

The refinance portion of projected production is forecasted to fall from $362 billion to $229 billion, while purchase financing is predicted to increase from $127 billion to $165 billion.

The forecast, which was delivered by the Mortgage Bankers Association, was unchanged from last month's outlook.

Annual loan production is predicted to decline from $1.750 trillion in 2012 to $1.410 trillion this year. During 2014, MBA projects annual production of $1.061 billion.

Refinance originations are expected to fall from $0.818 trillion this year to $0.358 trillion in 2014, while purchase financing is forecasted to rise from $0.592 trillion to $0.703 trillion.

Annual expectations were also unchanged from the previous outlook.

But the trade group did cut the outlook for 30-year fixed mortgage rates to 3.8 percent in the first quarter from last month's prediction of 3.9 percent.

The more attractive fixed rates prompted MBA to reduce this year's expected ARM share to 5 percent from the 6 percent share forecasted in the previous outlook.

Next year's expected ARM share saw an even deeper cut -- to 5 percent from 7 percent.

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