ACB Members Bullish On Mortgage Prospects

Executives at small- and medium-size banks and thrifts seem to be upbeat about the mortgage business in 2005, according to a real estate lending survey by America's Community Bankers.

Nearly 50% of the respondents expect to see an increase in single-family originations in 2005, compared to 2004, while only 21% expect a decline. ACB received responses from 553 banks and thrifts in November and December.

A reduction in refinancing activity, increasing adjustable-rate mortgage production and a strong home purchase market is very favorable for depository institutions, ACB executive vice president Robert Davis said.

The survey found that respondents increased their ARM production from 21% in 2003 to 30% in 2004.

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