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Countrywide Mortgage Applications Fall 8%

May 09, 2001|From Bloomberg News

Countrywide Credit Industries Inc., the largest publicly traded U.S. mortgage company, said average daily applications for new mortgages fell 8% in April from March's record high.

Daily applications averaged $675 million in April, down from $734 million in March at the Calabasas-based company, said David Bigelow, executive vice president.

The decline may reflect that demand for loans to purchase or refinance homes may have peaked, the company said.

"Applications, after reaching peak levels last month, appear to have settled into slightly lower, but still very robust levels," Stanford Kurland, chief operating officer, said.

The amount of loans funded for the month totaled $10.2 billion, the first time Countrywide has broken the $10-billion level, the company said. April's fundings exceeded the previous high of $9.56 billion in March.

People looking to refinance existing mortgages made up about 58% of the loans, and new mortgages accounted for the remaining 42%.

Loans in process stood at $18.6 billion, also a record and up from $18.3 billion the previous month.

Earlier this year, the average 30-year mortgage rate fell to a two-year low of 6.89%, according to Freddie Mac, the No. 2 U.S. mortgage buyer. The rate stood at 7.14% last week.

Countrywide shares rose 29 cents to close at $43 on the New York Stock Exchange. They are down 14% for the year.

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