First-mortgage lending is an increasingly important component of credit union lending and service to members, according to CUNA's economics and statistics department.
In 2013, credit unions originated more than $134 billion in first mortgages, up from $125 billion in 2012. That represents more than 6.5% of the entire mortgage origination market.
This pace is more than double the $61 billion of first mortgages credit unions originated in 2007, which made up only 2.6% of the market at that time. First mortgages now account for 41% of loans held in credit union portfolios, up from 33% in 2007.
Credit unions sold almost 52% of their first mortgage originations in 2013, up from 27% in 2007, due to their desire to reduce the interest-rate risk inherent in fixed-rate, long-term loans—especially at today’s historically low interest rates.
The NCUA’s final field-of-membership rule was published Wednesday, making it effective Feb. 6. The rule, finalized by the NCUA board in October, facilitates consumer access to credit unions and provides credit unions with more flexibility.