Wells Fargo CFO Timothy Sloan said the health of the housing market won’t be clear until “we look in the rearview mirror a few months from now,” but did say he felt it was getting a little better, in a televised interview on CNBC.
Credit quality for consumers is improving, which Sloan said indicates that “the consumer overall is doing a little bit better.” Though the hardest hit are still unemployed, the rest of consumers are “doing OK.”
The mortgage business is up for the bank, which held a third of the market in the fourth quarter. Sloan said the bulk of the mortgage portion came from refinancing.
But his positive reviews came with a bit of hesitancy.
“It’s a cyclical business so we know it is going to come down somewhat over time,” he said.
Wells' mortgage originations totaled $129 billion in the first quarter, up $75 year over year (15% of those came from workous from the Home Affordable Modification Program, Sloan said). Wells continues to position itself to offer more mortgages this year, as they slowly move through the bulk of the housing crisis.
On Friday morning, the bank reported $4.2 billion in earnings in the fourth quarter, or 75 cents a share, up from the analyst consensus 73 cents a share.