The mortgage market posted its biggest three months since the financial crisis, as lenders extended $700 billion in home loans through the July-to-September quarter, the most in 14 years. “The last few months have given us glimmers of hope that low rates are inducing existing home sales upwards,” said Ralph McLaughlin, deputy chief economist at CoreLogic Inc. “It looks like there is a healthy runway for home sales to tick up.”
The third quarter was a welcome rebound, considering this industry was struggling to make money just months ago. It has alleviated some worries about underlying fragility in the mortgage market. Independent nonbank lenders now account for around half of all home loans.