Two midsized mortgage banks reported severe drops in originations, the latest sign of an industrywide slump.

Plaza Home Mortgage, Santa Ana, Calif., said Tuesday that its June originations fell 56% from a year earlier, to $355 million.

And Hamilton Financial Corp., San Francisco, said its loan production for the second quarter plunged 67%, to $183 million.

The reports come as mortgage lenders across the country try to cope with higher interest rates and the end of a two-year refinancing boom.

Many economists are now predicting that industrywide originations will fall at least 30% from the record $1 trillion notched in 1993.

"The mortgage banking industry is undergoing a painful transition this year," said Jack French, Plaza's chairman and chief executive.

Earlier this week, American Residential Mortgage reported that its June originations fell 40% from a year earlier, to $496 million.

And last week, industry leader Countrywide Credit Industries, Pasadena, Calif., reported a June decline of 50%. North American Mortgage, Santa Rosa, Calif., said its production was off 58% for the month.

Hamilton Financial was trading at $4.50 a share late Tuesday, unchanged. Plaza Home Mortgage was at $6.38, down $0.12.

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