Credit unions experienced a dramatic increase in first mortgage originations
in 2001 as members turned to their credit union for both new home purchases
and refinancing. First mortgage originations grew an astounding 128% in 2001,
rising to $46.6 billion versus $20.7 billion in 2000. An overview of credit
union real estate lending in 2001 will be included in the 2002 Credit Union
Yearbooks, to be published by Callahans in early March. The table below highlights
the leaders in first mortgages as a percent of assets, for all credit unions
greater than $50 million.
Although a large portion of the 2001 mortgage lending activity was related
to refinancing, first mortgage loans posted the highest balance sheet growth
of any loan category in both percentage and dollar terms, rising 17.4%, or $13.5
billion, to $90.8 billion outstanding. First mortgages now account for 28% of
all credit union loans, up from 26% at year-end 2000. The combined outstandings
in first mortgages and other real estate loans (home equity lines and second
mortgages) at year-end 2001 make real estate loans the largest segment of the
credit union loan portfolio at 41%. This is the first time this category has
surpassed auto loans, which now comprise 39% of the portfolio.
The increase in dollar volume of first mortgage originations was almost matched
by the increase in the number of loans originated, which rose 97% to over 420,000.
Credit unions employed a variety of tactics to handle the increased activity,
from short-term solutions such as temporary staff increases to longer-term structural
changes such as automation of key steps within the mortgage lending process.
The wide array of solutions have credit unions asking each other 'How did your
credit union handle these challenges?'
We would like your credit union's help in answering this question and benchmarking
the industry's performance in this remarkable year. Our 2002
Survey of Credit Union Mortgage Programs is designed to help credit
unions discover better solutions for their first mortgage programs through shared