Top 200 Lenders: first-quarter 2003 (by $ amount).

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MORTGAGE BANKING HAS BEEN PUBlishing its Top 200 Lenders rankings for the home lending market for a full year now. Our data is supplied by our partner, First American Real Estate Solutions, Anaheim, California. Our June 2002 issue ran the first installment of the rankings.

This latest edition of the rankings covers the first quarter of 2003. It confirms what everyone in the business already knows: The residential mortgage industry is being swamped by an absolutely monumental wave of business.

If we look back at the 2002 list, we can see just what a blockbuster year 2003 is shaping up to be. The data confirms why all industry economists have ratcheted up their origination volume forecasts.

Last year our first-quarter 2002 rankings tallied up the total number of loans written as 948,191. This year the rankings show three times that volume in the first quarter, with total loans hitting 2,935,458. Dollar volume of total loans counted by our rankings in last year's first quarter hit roughly $141.9 billion. This year's first quarter pulled down $444.4 billion.

And not only are the number of loans written soaring, but loan amounts have jumped significantly, too. The average loan amount in first-quarter 2002 was just $123,734. In our rankings for first-quarter 2003, the average loan amount shot up to $151,383.

Then we get to which lenders top the list. In this edition, Washington Mutual Bank claims the top spot with a whopping 182,043 loans. Yet, if we add the volume done by Wells Fargo Bank with that of Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, we get a new leader with 227,998 loans closed.

As always, we offer the caveat that we rank lenders based on data coming from publicly recorded transactions. Some lenders that close loans in the name of several different divisions will appear lower in the rankings than they should. To get a true picture of each lender's rankings, readers must add up the entries for all operating divisions that close loans in their own name.

Our rankings, in some instances, also underreport volume due to the way our data provider collects its data. First American compiles these rankings by collecting data from county government offices for recorded transactions in 44 states and 497 counties. If you are a lender in the counties not included, you can contact First American to get your origination volume included in these rankings. Call (800) 426-1466 and ask for Teresa Grove or e-mail tgrove@firstam.com for more information on the rankings.

SOURCE: First American Real Estate Solutions, Anaheim, California. Marketrac[R] data is collected and compiled from publicly recorded transactions provided by county government offices in 44 states and 497 counties, representing the major urban and suburban areas most predictive of lender market share. First American Real Estate Solutions is the nation's largest collector and provider of real estate information. Coverage consists of more than 100 million parcels within 50 states and 1,370 county and municipal government offices. Updates are done daily, with more than 2 million property and mortgage transactions completed per month, representing 85 percent of all activity In the United States. Products Include property data and maps, automated valuation models, profiling and lead-generation tools for customer acquisition and retention, lien release programs, legal and vesting reports, market analysis and statistical products, document Images, MLS applications, flood data, neighborhood profiles, crime data, pri nted aerial maps, published reports, custom research services and custom product development services. Data delivery methods include: browsers, XML, private-label solutions, Windows[R] desktop solutions, wireless and bulk licensing arrangements. For more Information on First American Real Estate Solutions, call (800) 426-1466 or visit www.firstamres.com.

Top 2000 Lenders First-Quarter 2003 (by $ amount) Number Dollar Rank Lender of Loans Amount 1 Washington Mutual Bank 182,043 $34,375,686,293 2 Wells Fargo Home Mortgage 154,869 $31,972,313,009 3 Bank of America 144,974 $21,435,936,927 4 Countrywide Home Loans 90,138 $11,793,386,295 5 ABN AMRO Mortgage 61,981...

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