Average Loan Size Rises

The nation's top 75 mortgage servicers reported an average increase in loan size of about 11% at March 31, 2006, according to MSN's Quarterly Data Report.

Two of the country's top 10 servicers recorded the highest loan size change during the quarter.

Leading the way in average loan size growth was Paul Financial of San Rafael, Calif., the nation's 10th largest residential mortgage servicer, whose loan size at March 31, compared to the same quarter in 2005, increased by 65%, reaching $211,238, up from $128,148.

Opteum Financial Services of Paramus, N.J., reported a 30% average loan growth at $213,693 at March 31, up from $164,331 at March 31, 2005.

PFF Bank & Trust of Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., and Aurora Loan SERvices Inc. of Aurora, Colo., the nation's 14th and 15th largest servicers, respectively, reported an average loan growth of 22% and 20%. PFF's average loan changed from $161,684 in 2005, to $198,015 in 2006. Aurora's increased from $162,525 in the first quarter of 2005 to $194,614 in the same quarter in 2006.

Meanwhile, Libby Preston, senior vice president at Security Savings Mortgage Corp., Canton, Ohio, told MSN its average loan sizes have been erroneously reported to the Quarterly Data Report. If the end of first quarter 2006 average loan size reported at $136,229 "sounds about right," she said, company average loan sizes "have never been as low as the reported $30,309 at March 31, 2005, not in at least 15 years." (Due to a publishing deadline, the SSMC corrected data are not included in this story.)

Yet, the overall picture was not rosy for everyone.

Loan sizes shrank by 9% for EverBank/EverHome Mortgage of Jacksonville, Fla., which reported its average loan decreased from $120,653 at March 31, 2005, down to $109,570 at March 31, 2006. Similarly, Graystone Mortgage Corp., Sudbury, Mass., said its average loan size of $121,850 in 2005 decreased to $112,527 during the same period in 2006.

HomeStreet Bank of Seattle saw a 7% decrease in the average loan serviced, from $125,255 in 2005 to $116,960 in 2006.

However, given that only 11 lenders out of the total 75 reported a decrease in their average loan sizes and only Guardian Mortgage Co. Inc of Richardson, Texas, reported a status quo, it would be realistic to say that it is a growth marketplace for servicing. (For full results, see table on right). (c) 2006 Mortgage Servicing News and SourceMedia, Inc. All Rights Reserved. http://www.mortgageservicingnews.com http://www.sourcemedia.com

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