Mortgage loan fundings at Countrywide Financial totaled $44 billion in December, up 27 percent from a year ago, helping to set an annual record, the company announced today.

In November, mortgage loan fundings hit $42 billion.

Mortgage loan fundings for the fourth quarter totaled $133 billion, up 40 percent from last year’s fourth quarter. Full-year fundings reached $491 billion, a new company record and higher than any number previously reported by a U.S. residential lender, Countrywide claimed.

“While production margins declined in 2005 compared to levels seen earlier in the refinance boom, Countrywide established numerous funding milestones during the year,” said Stanford L. Kurland, president and chief operating officer.

“With the continuation of relatively low interest rates throughout the year, as well as Countrywide’s market share growth, the company generated record mortgage loan production volume of $491 billion. This amount surpassed Countrywide’s prior record set in 2003, and also appears to be a new industry record,” Kurland said.

Other highlights from Countrywide’s November operational results included:

  • Monthly purchase volume rose to $21 billion, an increase of 28 percent from December 2004, bringing purchase activity for the fourth quarter and year to $61 billion and $232 billion, respectively. This compares to $47 billion and $176 billion for the fourth quarter and full year of 2004, respectively, up 31 percent and 32 percent.

  • Adjustable-rate loan fundings for the month were $22 billion, an increase of 21 percent from December 2004. Adjustable-rate fundings for the fourth quarter were $67 billion, or 50 percent of total mortgage loan fundings. This compares to $51 billion, or 54 percent of total mortgage loan fundings, for the fourth quarter of 2004.

  • Full year adjustable-rate fundings totaled $257 billion, up 35 percent from 2004.

  • Home equity loan fundings for December rose by 28 percent over last year to $4.0 billion. For the fourth quarter, home equity loan fundings advanced 22 percent from the fourth quarter of 2004 to $11 billion. Home equity loan fundings for all of 2005 grew 38 percent over last year to $43 billion.

  • Nonprime loan fundings totaled $4.4 billion in December, which compares to $4.3 billion for the same period last year. Total nonprime fundings for the 2005 fourth quarter and full year were $12 billion and $45 billion, respectively. This compares to $11 billion and $39 billion, respectively, for the same periods last year.

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