Home buyers are submitting more applications for loans, evidence that the housing market may be picking up steam.

Countrywide Financial Corp. reported today that mortgage loan applications in December were up 11 percent from a year ago. That comes on the heels of a Mortgage Bankers Association survey this week that found a 16.6 percent jump in loan application volume for the week ending Jan. 5 compared to the week before.

Countrywide’s $41.7 billion in loan fundings for December were 7 percent less than a year ago, but up 9 percent from November. The $122 billion in loans funded during the fourth quarter made it Countrywide’s best for the year, although that figure represents a 9 percent decline from 2005.

Countrywide posted those numbers even as it made dramatic cuts in risky subprime and pay-option loan fundings. Nonprime loan funding in the fourth quarter was $10 billion, down 17 percent from the fourth quarter of 2005, and pay-option loan funding in the fourth quarter plummeted 58 percent to $10 billion, down from $24 billion in the same quarter the year before.

According to the latest MBA survey, adjustable-rate loans made up 20.1 percent of applications to lenders in the week ending Jan. 5, down 3 basis points from the week before, and was the lowest share of ARM applications since July 2003.

Show Comments Hide Comments


Sign up for Inman’s Morning Headlines
What you need to know to start your day with all the latest industry developments
By submitting your email address, you agree to receive marketing emails from Inman.
Thank you for subscribing to Morning Headlines.
Back to top
Only 3 days left to register for Inman Connect Las Vegas before prices go up! Don't miss the premier event for real estate pros.Register Now ×
Limited Time Offer: Get 1 year of Inman Select for $199SUBSCRIBE×
Log in
If you created your account with Google or Facebook
Don't have an account?
Forgot your password?
No Problem

Simply enter the email address you used to create your account and click "Reset Password". You will receive additional instructions via email.

Forgot your username? If so please contact customer support at (510) 658-9252

Password Reset Confirmation

Password Reset Instructions have been sent to

Subscribe to The Weekender
Get the week's leading headlines delivered straight to your inbox.
Top headlines from around the real estate industry. Breaking news as it happens.
15 stories covering tech, special reports, video and opinion.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
It looks like you’re already a Select Member!
To subscribe to exclusive newsletters, visit your email preferences in the account settings.
Up-to-the-minute news and interviews in your inbox, ticket discounts for Inman events and more
1-Step CheckoutPay with a credit card
By continuing, you agree to Inman’s Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

You will be charged . Your subscription will automatically renew for on . For more details on our payment terms and how to cancel, click here.

Interested in a group subscription?
Finish setting up your subscription