Credit unions had a robust year in mortgages last year, with dollar volumes increasing by 34 percent from $83 billion in 2014 to $111 billion. (This total excludes purchased loans.)

That was in line with the 32 percent increase in nationwide originations last year from $1.4 trillion in 2014 to $1.85 trillion.

About 2,000 credit unions reported their mortgage data to the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council last year, about the same as the year before. Credit unions with less than $44 million in assets were not required to report.

Credit union share of the total mortgage industry dollars inched up last year, from 5.9 percent share in 2014 to six percent in 2015, according to reports run on LendingPatterns™, the Home Mortgage Lending Act database of fair lending and tech company ComplianceTech, based in McLean, VA.

By numbers of loans, the cooperatively-owned financial institutions originated 688,000 mortgages last year, up from 563,000 the year before. About 1.25 million applications for credit were received.

The biggest credit union mortgage lender, Vienna, VA-based Navy Federal Credit Union, saw lending increase by more than 50 percent last year, going from $8.3 billion in 2014 to $12.6 billion. The giant credit union granted more than four times as many dollars as its nearest competitor, State Employees Credit Union of Raleigh, NC, which had a volume of $2.8 billion, flat from 2014.

Navy Federal’s 11.4 percent share of the CU origination dollar market was an increase of 140 basis points from 2014, when the $79 billion asset institution controlled 10 percent of the credit union dollar share.

Credit union members applied for $208 billion in mortgages last year, with 53 percent of that amount actually originated. Some 14 percent was denied, with the balance from other categories like incomplete and withdrawn.

Whites applied for 62 percent of those mortgage dollars last year, and 65 percent of the number of loans, but had higher percentages of loans originated than minorities. They received 72 percent of all loans granted and 69 percent of dollars requested. Minorities asked for 21.5 percent of dollars and received just 18 percent of the dollars. They asked for 21 percent of loans and saw16.8 percent originated.

Average loan amounts for credit union borrowers last year were $192,000 for first liens and $46,000 for subordinate liens.

Credit unions kept 62 percent of their 2015 production in portfolio. Of loans sold, Fannie Mae was the biggest investor, with 18 percent, followed by non-agency investors at 11 percent, Freddie Mac with 5 percent, and Ginnie Mae at 4 percent.

Loan purpose dollars were split fairly evenly between buying a house and refinancing one. Refis led at 48 percent, followed closely by purchase mortgages at 46 percent.

Borrower income levels skewed heavily toward upper income, at 62 percent of the total dollars. Low and moderate income borrowers constituted a little more than 14 percent.

Mark Fogarty has been a mortgage industry analyst for more than thirty years. He is the former longtime editor of National Mortgage News.

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