As second quarter earnings data from mortgage lenders began to trickle into the market last week - giving some insight for the secondary market as to how the lenders, and their loans, are faring amid a slowing housing market - results and outlooks so far seem to be a bit of a mixed bag. Perhaps because, as IndyMac Bancorp's Chairman and Chief Executive Michael Perry put it last week, "we are laying off the bulk of that credit risk into the secondary market."

Indymac's loan production is up 41% year-over-year, and its pipeline was bulging with a record $21.5 billion worth of production. Its margins were down by 25% from the second quarter of last year, but they were up from first quarter levels, according to Perry, who was speaking during the bank's second quarter earnings conference call last week. Secondary market appetite was healthy, he said. Proving that point, Indymac in the second quarter sold some 97% of its total loan production. His view on the housing market is uncertain. "I would say that the older and wealthier you are, the more pessimistic you become. I think that ... if you look at the housing market, nobody knows for sure if we are in for a hard or soft landing," Perry said.

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