Production profits up in first quarter.

Position:NEWS ROOM

The average production profit posted by a group of independent mortgage banks and bank mortgage subsidiaries was 60 basis points in the first quarter, up from 32 basis points in the fourth quarter. Those were the findings from the Quarterly Mortgage Bankers Performance Report for the first quarter, released by the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) on June 3.

Production costs remained high at the start of the year, weighing on industry profits. Total production operating expenses on a per-loan basis rose to $7,195, according to the quarterly report. That was up from $7,000 per loan in the final quarter of last year.

Production volume jumped to an average of $473 million per company in the first quarter. Volume averaged $417 million per company in the fourth quarter of 2014. On a unit basis, surveyed companies produced an average 1,917 loans in the first quarter, up from 1,769 loans in the fourth quarter.

"Net production profits among independent mortgage bankers nearly doubled from the fourth quarter of 2014 and secondary marketing gains improved by 31 basis points over the fourth quarter, based largely on the increase in refinancing volume in the first quarter of 2015," said MBA Vice President of Industry Analysis Marina Walsh.

MBA reported that the average loan balance in the first quarter grew to a study high of $242,791. That was up from $233,655 in the fourth quarter.

Productivity was unchanged in the latest report at 2.4 loans originated per...

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