Mortgage Daily

Published On: February 18, 2016

Among the nation’s top-tier lenders, Caliber Home Loans Inc. had the biggest quarterly year-over-year increase in mortgage production.

U.S. mortgage lenders originated 1,552,329 residential loans during
the three months that started on Oct. 1, 2015, and ended on Dec. 31.

Mortgage business slowed down compared to the previous three-month period, with a 14  percent quarter-over-quarter
decline reported.

That was according to RealtyTrac’s Q4 2015 U.S. Residential Property Loan Origination Report. The data were derived from recorded mortgages and deeds of trust in 950 U.S. counties that reportedly account for 80 percent of the country’s population.

But national mortgage production did pick up compared to the final three months of 2014, with a 1 percent year-over-year gain.

RealtyTrac noted that a 24 percent reduction in purchase financing was behind the slowdown from the third quarter.
It was the biggest quarter-over-quarter decline in purchase production in more than five years.

“The 24 percent drop in purchase originations in the fourth quarter of 2015 was well above the average 15 percent seasonal slump in the fourth quarter over the past 10 years,” RealtyTrac Vice President Daren Blomquist said in the report. “New mortgage rules implemented at the beginning of October likely contributed to the decrease, but weakness in some local economies could also be contributing to the decrease, most notably in oil producing markets such as Houston and Oklahoma City, both of which saw purchase originations decrease by double-digit percentages both quarterly and annually.”

The origination of refinances and home-equity lines of credit each dropped 7 percent from the prior period.

Purchase transactions accounted for 38.8 percent of fourth-quarter 2015 business, while refinances made up 42.8 percent. The remaining 18.5 percent was HELOC originations.

Volume at Caliber Home Loans was 12,474 units during the latest period, up 61 percent from the fourth-quarter
2014 — more than any of the top-10 lenders by number of loans closed.

A 52 percent increase put
loanDepot LLC’s fourth-quarter 2015 production at 12,853.

After that was a 40 percent increase from a year earlier at Freedom Mortgage, leaving it’s total
12,454 loans.

An 18 percent year-over-year gain was recorded for Guaranteed Rate Inc., where fourth-quarter 2015 volume was 10,057 units.

Quicken Loans Inc. closed 69,269
mortgages, rising 10 percent from the final quarter of 2014.

At the other end of spectrum was JPMorgan Chase & Co., where its 21,199 closings were down 30 percent — more than any other top-10 lender.

Bank of America Corp.’s business fell 27 percent to 28,637 in the most-recent quarter.

At US Bancorp, volume fell 13 percent from a year prior to 14,216 loans in the final quarter of last year.

An 8 percent drop at Wells Fargo & Co. put its fourth-quarter 2015 production at 70,306 units — the most of any lender.

Mortgages insured by the Federal Housing Administration accounted for 19,024 of the fourth-quarter 2015 total, up 9 percent from a year earlier.

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