Countrywide Financial Corp. recently released its operational data for the month of August, showing that loan fundings reached $31 billion, an increase of 5 percent over the previous month.

That total, however, represents a 24 percent decline from August 2003, mainly attributable to a substantially lower level of refinance activity industrywide, according to Countrywide. Year-to-date funding volume now totals $237 billion for the company.

Monthly purchase activity rose for the sixth consecutive month to $18 billion, an increase of 1 percent over July and 42 percent more than August 2003. Year-to-date purchase volume now stands at $113 billion. Last year’s total purchase volume was $130 billion.

“Countrywide’s well-balanced business model continues to produce strong operational results amidst a transitional environment,” said Stanford L. Kurland, president and COO. “Compared to a year ago, the total mortgage origination market is smaller as a result of lower refinance volume. This impact has been mitigated by Countrywide’s dramatic growth in purchase fundings and record volumes of adjustable-rate, home equity and subprime loans.”

Adjustable-rate fundings reached a record $18 billion, 83 percent higher than August 2003. They accounted for 59 percent of total loan volume. Adjustable-rate volume grew by 7 percent over July 2004, pushing year-to-date volume to $118 billion.

Home equity fundings reached a new monthly record of $3.1 billion, 8 percent more than the previous month and 80 percent higher than August 2003. Year-to-date home equity production surpassed $18 billion, and exceeded the volume achieved in 2003.

August’s subprime volume grew to $4.3 billion, up 13 percent from last month and 158 percent over August 2003. Year-to-date subprime volume totaled $25 billion, exceeding total subprime volume in 2003.

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