The mortgage industry went on a binge in the year ended June 30. The top 100 lenders doubled their originations volume in the period and their market share surged to slightly more than 84%, from about 64% in the period a year earlier.
What is more, the second quarter was stronger than the first quarter, and volume shows little sign of abating.
Norwest was the clearcut leader, originating an astonishing $47 billion of loans in the first half, and it is on track to top $100 billion for the year, a number that would have been unthinkable just a few years ago.
No. 2 Countrywide and No. 3 Chase Manhattan originated about $40 billion and $35 billion respectively, far outdistancing the rest of the field. No. 4 NationsBanc was well back with $17.9 billion, and No. 10 ABN Amro had just $12.8 billion.
The spurt in volume was quite evenly distributed. The mortgage operations of commercial banks did best with a gain of 119%, financial companies 96%. Thrifts showed a gain of 88% despite the unfavorable market for adjustable-rate mortgages, indicating their marked shift toward mortgage banking.
Further indicating the surge in volume, Market Street Mortgage and Glendale Federal were tied for 99th place at $985 million. A year earlier, No. 100 Delta Funding had just $502 million.
Among the top 20, Citicorp Mortgage made the biggest jump, climbing 247% and reaching the No. 18 rank. A year earlier, they had been No. 34.
Meanwhile, two of last June's top 10 have disappeared: Standard Federal Bank, the Michigan thrift bought by ABN Amro, and Great Western, the California thrift acquired by Washington Mutual.
The ABN-Amro deal put it into the top 10 among originators, and Dime Bancorp Mortgage also joined the list on the strength of its purchase of North American Mortgage, No. 11 a year earlier.
A new feature in the originations tables this year is a column showing portfolio turnover rates. This number gives an indication of how much production each lender sells compared to the volume of loans carried on the books.
Mortgage banking companies, for example, have high ratios, generally 10 or more, because they sell all their loans and carry on their books only the amount of their pipeline of loans awaiting sale.
At the other extreme, thrifts hold most of their loans in portfolio and sell only a few. Thus, they have low turnover rates, usually less than 1.00.
Many others, including commercial banks, are in the middle, holding some mortgages for investment and selling others in the secondary market.