(Realtor.com) -- Despite the improving economy, home loans even for well-qualified borrowers are still unnecessarily hard to get and take too long, real estate practitioners say. But lenders take a different view. In a roundtable with three of the country’s largest lenders, home mortgage executives say they’ve ramped up capacity and are making loans quickly for qualified conventional borrowers and they expect to keep doing so even as they gear up for a host of new mortgage lending rules coming out of Washington in the next year.
“We all made a lot of loans last year,” says Joseph Rogers, Jr., executive vice president of Wells Fargo Home Mortgages. “Wells Fargo made over a half a trillion dollars in loans to customers last year. Our retailers served over a million customers. That means somebody was getting financing.”
NAR brought the three lenders together in mid-March for a wide-ranging discussion to get their take on the state of the conventional mortgage market, how long before private lenders get back into the market with non-agency product for conventional borrowers, and what it will take for lenders to get all the new rules coming out of Washington incorporated into their business processes.
The lenders say 2012 was an especially busy year, particularly in the refinance segment, because of ultra low interest rates and regulatory changes that created a window for borrowers to move into FHA loans. So, volume on the refi side could very well dip this year, but on the purchase side, the lenders say they’re making a lot of loans and plan to keep doing so. “All of our companies have been investing very heavily [on meeting purchase demand] and have been rewarded for increased capacity in this business,” says Saber Salam, senior vice president of Chase Home Mortgage.