Friday, December 14, 2007

Countrywide’s Loan Production Plunges

Countrywide’s home loan production dropped 40% year-over-year in November, the lender announced Thursday. Loan fundigs were up 5% compared to October’s results, quite a feat amid all the trouble the mortgage lending sector is experiencing currently. Countrywide almost eliminated origination of subprime home loans and significantly reduced adjustable-rate mortgages. Delinquencies rose from 4.57% in November 2006 to 6.34% last month. In October, 5.89% of Countrywide loans were delinquent.

Mortgage interest rates climbed up from record lows after the Fed’s rate cut, and this week 30-year mortgage rates averaged 6.11% - still some of the lowest rates for this year, but above 6% nevertheless. The rate dropped below 6% briefly last week. 15-year fixed-rate loans were at 5.78%, up from 5.65% a week ago. 5-year ARMs averaged 5.78%, compared to 5.75% last week. Interest on one-year adjustable home loans increased from 5.46% last week to 5.50%. Which way rates go from here will depend on a number of factors, including the market for Treasuries and the job market.

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