By Kathleen M. Howley | Bloomberg
Wells Fargo & Co. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. posted their largest mortgage-lending gains in more than a year as the recovery in the market gains momentum.
Wells Fargo made $49 billion in home loans in the first quarter, an increase of 36 percent from a year earlier, the company said today in its earnings report. JPMorgan generated $24.7 billion in mortgages, up 45 percent, the bank said today.
The nation’s biggest lenders are benefiting from low mortgage rates and an improving economy after originations in 2014 fell to their lowest level in almost two decades. This year, home sales are off to their best start since the boom years, helped by the strongest labor market since 2008.
“If you think of the massive footprints these two banks have, the results are an indication of where the mortgage market is heading,” said Keith Gumbinger, vice president of mortgage-data firm HSH Inc. “The economy is continuing to get stronger and interest rates are still favorable.”