Cendant Mortgage's affiliations with real estate brokers helped it post strong growth in loan originations in the second quarter, despite a slowing market.
The unit of Cendant Corp. originated $7.8 billion of mortgages in the second quarter, a 19% increase from the same period a year ago, and up from $6.8 billion in the first quarter.
Cendant's 14.7% increase from the first quarter was well above the 5.1% rise the Mortgage Bankers Association's senior economist, David Lereah, estimates for the industry.
The Mount Laurel, N.J., lender has cross-selling relationships with Century 21, ERA, and Coldwell Banker, the real estate companies affiliated with its New York-based parent.
"We believe the total opportunity out there is well over $100 billion in mortgage loans," said Terence W. Edwards, president and chief executive officer of Cendant Mortgage. The company's goal is to first tap into 30% of this cross-selling opportunity.
Cendant's growing production volume has already helped it move up a notch in the rankings of originators, to ninth place, according to Inside Mortgage Finance.
The originations helped the mortgage unit post a 13% jump in revenue from the same quarter last year, to $107 million. Earnings increased 11%, to $50 million.
Second-quarter earnings included $5 million of production revenue and $9 million in servicing revenue, up 60%, the company said. Cendant's servicing portfolio grew 29%, to $43.8 billion.
Cendant's real estate division took in $159 million from its Coldwell Banker, Century 21, and ERA franchises, up 21%. The division's earnings jumped 11%, to $114 million, the company said.
Of the mortgage unit's $7.8 billion in originations, the three real estate brands accounted for $2.5 billion in originations from all business lines including originations, purchases of mortgages, and originations through loan officers on-site at brokerage offices.
Telemarketing, or "800" phone number originations, through the three brands accounted for the bulk of this, producing about $1.6 billion of closings, Mr. Edwards said, adding that this represents a 166% growth over the same period last year.
Jeff Kessler, a senior vice president at Lehman Brothers, said Cendant is positioned for continued growth in its real estate division because it has "so many business services spokes to tap into," and because it has "a very, very powerful competitive model for either the good years or the bad years."
Growth opportunities for the company include acquiring more real estate brokerages, increasing the sale of mortgages through real estate brokers, and offering a broad base of services to potential homeowners or home sellers, he said.
"We've got our work cut out for us to increase originations," Mr. Edwards said. The company is trying to keep its focus on retail originations through its "800" number, rather than through the purchase of closed loans, he said.
The possibility of a slowdown in the housing market presents yet another opportunity for this company to expand, Mr. Edwards said. "Independent brokers will turn to the Coldwell Bankers and the Century 21s of the world when the going gets tough."