Credit unions wrote 5% of the nation's mortgages in the third quarter of 2009 and industry analysts anticipate a similarly high number for the year overall.
But even as they hope to celebrate last year's credit union mortgage accomplishments, credit union mortgage advocates are also gearing up to help see the industry through what many forecast will be a more difficult year for the mortgage industry overall.
Mortgage industry analysts observe that mortgage loan applications were down noticeably at the end of 2009 and in the early reports for January 2010. Many economists are uncertain about the effects of future rising interest rates and the likelihood that the Federal Reserve will discontinue purchasing mortgage-backed securities near the end of the first quarter.
These pressures, along with news that many of the traditional bug mortgage originators are building up their mortgage operations suggest this year will bring a lot of competition for a piece of a significantly smaller mortgage pie.
"There has never been a greater need for credit unions to band together than now," stated John Reed, CEO of Maine Savings FCU and chairman of the board of the American Credit Union Mortgage Association. "We anticipate much more competition for fewer loans. We have noticed major lenders already committed to hiring more originators to compete in the trenches on Main Street in every community," he added.