By Peter Eavis
The New York Times
Federal stimulus has ignited a boom in mortgage refinancing, benefiting both homeowners and banks. And the good times could continue as the government steps up its support of the broad housing market.
On Friday, Wells Fargo and JPMorgan Chase, the top two mortgage lenders in the country, are scheduled to report quarterly earnings. Their results — and the other bank reports that follow — will offer clues as to whether the current mortgage boom is sustainable or set to fizzle.
“We expect mortgage revenue to continue to be elevated in the third quarter and possibly into next year,” said Jason Goldberg, a banking analyst at Barclays.
In the third quarter, banks probably originated as much as $450 billion of home loans, according to estimates by Inside Mortgage Finance, a publication that tracks the industry. That figure, which includes both refinances of existing mortgages and new loans to buy a house, would be a considerable jump from the previous period. In the second quarter, banks originated $405 billion, with 68 percent in refinancings.