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Saturday, Jan 28, 2023
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Local Lenders Slip Despite Positive News

Shares in local mortgage lenders dipped Friday as credit concerns and tight lending standards outweighed a surprising up-tick in national home sales for the month of July.


The Commerce Department reported Friday that home sales across the country rose 2.8 percent in July, after falling 4 percent in June.


The positive numbers were bolstered by strong home sales on the West Coast and in the South which were slightly offset by a drop in the Northeast. Compared to the same month last year, sales were down 10 percent.


However, deteriorating credit quality and lack of access to cash continued to weigh down the housing and lending sector, sending shares in local lenders down and continuing what has been a month-long sell-off.


Shares in Countrywide Financial Corp. were off $1.02, or 4.6 percent, giving back a chunk of the 11 percent the Calabasas-based lender gained between Aug. 20 and Aug. 23. Shares are down 51 percent for the year.


Shares in IndyMac Bancorp also took a hit, losing $1.34, or 5.5 percent, to $23.16 after the Pasadena-based lender had added 47 percent since hitting a 52-week low of $16.86 on Aug. 3.


Also ending an impressive run was Fremont General Corp., which had gained more than 86 percent between Aug. 15 and Aug. 22. Shares in the Santa Monica-based lender dropped for a second-straight day, losing 27 cents, or 5.1 percent to $5.09.

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