There’s been a lot of talk about jumbo lending making a comeback after coming to a standstill last year, and the data from National Mortgage News seems to back it up.
During the first quarter, the top jumbo lenders saw marked improvement, with Bank of America leading the way on $9 billion in loan volume.
That’s up from $4 billion in the fourth quarter, and actually well above the $2.8 billion seen in the first quarter of 2008, perhaps thanks to its acquisition of Countrywide.
CitiMortgage came in a distant second with $2.9 billion during the first quarter, up from $2.2 billion in the fourth quarter, but well below the $11.1 billion seen a year ago.
SunTrust claimed the third spot with $2.65 billion, up from $870 million in the linked quarter and $1.2 billion a year ago.
Wells Fargo saw jumbo loan volume of $2 billion, up from $898 billion in the fourth quarter, but less than half the $5.1 billion seen in the first quarter of 2008.
Union Bank of California grabbed the fifth spot with $752 million, while Chase saw volume of $672 million, up slightly from the fourth quarter, but well below the $5.9 billion originated a year earlier.
So jumbo lending is indeed up from lows seen late last year, but it still appears tight, as only 12 percent of Southern California home sales were financed with jumbo loans last month.
Of course, that could be attributed to the fact that most home sales were distressed/low priced, so a jumbo loan isn’t actually necessary.
Unfortunately, jumbo loans continue to be excluded from many loan modification efforts, which could hamper a recovery in hard-hit areas of the country like California and Florida.