Industry NewsMortgage

Refis help Countrywide fund most loans since August

Purchase loans hit new low in February

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Countrywide Financial Corp. released numbers today showing a refinancing boom helped push February mortgage loan fundings up 16.9 percent from the month before, to $25.6 billion, but purchase-loan activity fell to a new low. Countrywide said refinancings grew 29.2 percent in February, to $19.5 billion, helping the company post the best numbers for total mortgage fundings since August. But purchase-loan volume fell 10.2 percent, to $6.1 billion -- a new low for Countrywide since the housing slowdown began. Before the disruption of secondary mortgage markets last summer, Countrywide's monthly purchase loan volume hit $20.7 billion in June, a peak for the year. The Calabasas, Calif.-based lender saw total loan fundings plummet from a 2007 peak of $45.3 billion in June to $21.2 billion in September after worries about delinquencies and foreclosures disrupted the secondary market for loans not guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Average daily mortgage loan applicati...