More than half of mortgage dollars originated in California in 2015 were for more than the then-$417,000 conforming loan limit, according to Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data analyzed through LendingPatterns™.

So many dollars went to jumbos, in fact, that they brought the average mortgage made in California in 2015 to more than the conforming limit.

Jumbo loans made up 56 percent of all origination dollars in the high-priced Golden State in 2015, at $234 billion compared to $181 billion (44 percent) for those at or below the conforming limit.

Wells Fargo Bank was the biggest originator of jumbos in California that year, and it was also the biggest originator of all California mortgages.

Wells originated $32 billion in jumbos in 2015, for a 14 percent share, beating out JPMorgan Chase, which was second at $29 billion, or 12 percent share. No other lender had a more than 10 percent share. Bank of America had a seven percent share at $16 billion, and Citibank was fourth at just less than $10 billion in jumbos.

In all, 923 lenders originated jumbos in California during 2015. By numbers, there were 290,356 jumbos, meaning the jumbos averaged over $800,000 apiece.

Overall, nearly one million mortgages were originated in California in 2015, for a total of $416 billion in finance, making the average loan some $418,000, above the $417,000 conforming limit.

First lien loans also averaged above the conforming limit, at $427,000 for the year. Subordinate liens averaged $80,000. There weren’t many subordinate liens, at just 34 basis points of dollar volume, with first liens commanding more than 99 percent of the market.

In the secondary market, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae had about 42 percent of volume, quite close to the percentage of conforming loan dollars. About 38 percent of dollar volumes were held in portfolios, with non-agency investors taking another 20 percent.

Conventional lending dominated the Golden State for 2015, with a share of more than 83 percent of dollars. Of the guvvie lenders, the Federal Housing Administration had nearly 11 percent of dollars.

Thirty percent of mortgage dollars went to minorities, with Asians edging out Hispanics for the most dollars. Forty-nine percent of dollars went to whites.

Low- and moderate-income borrowers had less than six percent of market share in this expensive real estate state, while upper-income borrowers had two thirds of the housing dollars.

Males dominated the market, with the gender rollup (apps with at least one male versus females with no male) favoring men by 71 percent to 13 percent.

Manufactured housing didn’t have a huge market in California, at just 29 basis points of loans dollars. (Their total share was higher, as there are manufactured housing loans that do not qualify as mortgages.) Multifamily loans took a share of eight percent, with the balance going to single-family mortgages.

(Mark Fogarty is a journalist and analyst who has been covering the mortgage industry for more than 30 years.)

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