Q1 Mortgage Originations Slow at Several Lenders

Mortgage News

Mortgage Daily Staff

                                                 May 11, 2013

Several mortgage bankers reported slower activity in the first quarter. But one home lender reported a record quarter, another has since seen a record month and third is poised to capitalize on refinancing a $200 billion mortgage servicing portfolio.

At $13.319 billion, first-quarter home loan originations at PHH Mortgage were less than the $14.413 billion closed in the final quarter of last year and also lower than $13.953 billion funded in the first quarter of last year.

A record $7.4 billion in first-quarter originations were reported by Fifth Third Bancorp. The Cincinnati-based firm originated $7.0 billion during the last three months of last year and $6.4 billion in the first three months of last year.

Although new business was slower in the first quarter at Stearns Lending Inc. — volume dropped 8 percent from the fourth quarter to $3.4 billion — originations shot up to a record $1.35 billion in April.

First-quarter mortgage originations were $1.91 billion at Cole Taylor Bank, according to earnings data. Business slipped from $1.95 billion during the final three months of last year but has improved significantly from $0.90 billion in the first three months of 2012.

Sun Prairie, Wis.-based Fairway Independent Mortgage Corp. reported that it closed $1.46 billion in the first quarter, down from $1.77 billion three months earlier. Fairway managed to lift volume, however, from $1.13 billion originated a year earlier.

First-quarter mortgage production was reported by Impac Mortgage Holdings Inc. at $0.674 billion. Business slowed from $0.813 billion in the fourth quarter but still was better than the $0.365 billion originated in the same three-month period last year.

Lowell, Ark.-based Arvest Mortgage Co. reported $0.624 billion in first-quarter mortgage production. That was about the same as the fourth quarter but 14 percent better than the first-quarter 2012.

From Jan. 1 through March 31, USA Mortgage closed 2,306 loans for $0.395 billion. Activity was down for the second consecutive quarter — falling from the prior period’s 2,752 loans for $0.486 billion. In the first-quarter 2012, production at the St. Louis-based firm was $0.365 billion.

With one-in-12 St. Louis mortgages closed during 2012 having been originated by USA Mortgage, the St. Louis-based company claims it now ranks as the biggest home lender in the St. Louis metropolitan area.

USA Mortgage reported that it closed 528 loans for $0.060 billion through the Missouri USDA Guaranteed Rural Housing program during fiscal-year 2012 — making it the No. 1 lender for the state.

“Our Missouri USDA loan volume grew by 265 percent — from $23 million in 2011 to just less than $61 million in 2012,” Doug Schukar, president and chief executive officer of USA Mortgage parent DAS Acquisition, stated in the news release. “And, we participated in more than one out of every 10 GRH loans statewide.”

Walter Investment Management Corp. reported $0.292 billion in first-quarter production. Eighty-one percent of business was from the consumer direct channel, retail share was 13 percent and 6 percent came from correspondent-wholesale.

Tampa, Fla.-based Walter Investment is likely to see home-loan production surge as it begins refinancing its rapidly growing mortgage servicing portfolio — which now exceeds $200 billion.

Last year’s mortgage production at NASA Federal Credit Union was $0.170 billion, Credit Union Times reported.

After rising more than two-thirds last year, mortgage originations at CU Members Mortgage were up 18 percent in the first quarter compared to the same quarter in 2012. The Dallas-based credit union service provider signed up 15 new clients in the first quarter.

The top-ranking originators at Fairway Independent Mortgage based on dollar volume are Amy Slotnick and Justin Tulman in Needham, Mass.; David Lazowski in Boston; and Ed Solter in Austin, Texas, the Sun Prairie, Wis.-based company announced last month. Based on the number of loans, Louise Thaxton of Many, La., and Austin Larr of Indianapolis ranked highest. Larr additionally ranked as the top FHA originator.

Freedom Mortgage Corp. reported that it was the third-biggest issuer of Ginnie Mae mortgage-backed securities in January, February and March. The ranking was reportedly based on Bank of New York data.

Residential mortgage activity by all mortgage companies in Massachusetts was 332,582 units last year, rising 38 percent from 2011, The Warren Group reported. Purchase financing was up a quarter. It was the best year since 2007, when 346,655 home loans were originated.

The same report indicated that statewide mortgage production in Connecticut increased more than 26 percent to 141,759 during 2012, while Rhode Island fundings climbed 29 percent to 42,680 loans.

Mortgage Daily Staff

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