Job Cuts Hit The Mortgage Industry

By CHUCK GREEN An apparently not so uncommon sight these days in the mortgage industry: empty desks. Not that their occupants are taking five for a foam latte. Instead, they might well have either been steeped in the pink slip blues or were compelled to submit their resignation. Over the past three months in the industry, there have been more than 3,500 job cuts, according to globalsg.com. In February, Bloomberg reported U.S. home mortgage lenders might have no other choice during the coming months that to initiate layoffs. Similarly, earlier this month, wolfstreet.com reported that not only are layoffs among mortgage lenders taking place, but they will also continue. “Layoffs and forced resignations are certainly imminent in the mortgage banking…

IMB Profits Fell In 2021, Layoffs Loom Heading Into 2022

After a record-breaking year for independent mortgage banks, profits declined by 75 basis points in 2021, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Annual Mortgage Bankers Performance Report. Independent mortgage banks and mortgage subsidiaries of chartered banks made an average profit of $2,339 on each loan they originated in 2021, down from the record $4,202 per loan in 2020. Average production volume totaled $4.9 billion per company, up from $4.5 billion in 2020. But production expenses took a toll on profits, reaching their highest level since 2008, the first year of MBA’s report. Personnel expenses for sales, fulfillment, and production support all rose while revenues fell. “2021 was another stellar year for independent mortgage bankers, with production profits well above…

Office Space Vacancies Monitored Closely As Numbers Begin To Fall

By CHUCK GREEN Office vacancy rates are being monitored closely as the commercial space industry continues to grapple with COVID’s effects on the workplace. In Los Angeles, office activity stagnated in the first quarter of 2022. One-fifth of total inventory remained vacant and rents remained unchanged, according to Greg Cornfield at Commercial Observer. Other major metro areas, including New York City, Boston, San Francisco, Washington DC, and Chicago, also continue to experience double-digit vacancy rates. Stemming from remote work due to the variant, San Francisco and DC reportedly kicked off the year with vacancies approaching 20%. In major U.S. markets vacancies of around 60% were recently shown by Kastle Systems, which measures occupancy by looking at foot traffic into offices.…

Love It Or List It? Americans Are Renovating Rather Than Moving

By KIMBERLEY HAAS New data shows that 79% of Americans would rather renovate their current home than move to a different one and with $420 billion spent on remodeling projects in 2020 those in the mortgage, real estate, and building industries are taking notice. Discover Home Loans commissioned a national survey of 1,531 homeowners. The independent survey research firm Dynata fielded the first of the online surveys in January and found that nearly four in five people would rather make improvements on their homes than move in the current housing market. The maximum margin of sampling error was +/-3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. ​ The top five reasons given for why homeowners would rather renovate are:…

U.S. Mortgage Markets Heat Up As Interest Rates and Prices Rise

By SCOTT KIMBLER Potential homebuyers are rushing to mortgage offices to make sure they get a loan before prices and interest rates go even higher. Mortgage rates jumped again to an average of 4.67%, up from last week’s 4.42%, Freddie Mac reported Thursday. At the same time, the spring selling season is looking promising for sellers. Home prices rose 1.84% in February and 19.6% year-over-year – the largest annual gains on record – according to Black Knight’s Monthly Mortgage Monitor Report. These numbers, along with an awkward supply and demand situation, are pushing some buyers who are in a position to do so to go ahead with their home purchase now.  Jerry Stover, sales manager with Homeowners Financial, said this has been…

Many Want A Home But Debt, Costs Keep Them Renting

By GREGORY BRESIGER High inflation and the economic impacts of COVID are destroying the dreams of Americans who want to have a home, mortgage and credit card experts warn. That’s because the pandemic has driven many people deeper into credit card debt since 2020 and that, along with rising interest rates and inadequate housing stock, are reducing the number of new mortgages. “Overall, I would say they are declining,” Linda McCoy, Board President of the National Association of Mortgage Brokers, told The Mortgage Note. U.S. mortgage applications declined 8.1% in the week ended March 18th, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. That followed a 1.2% decline in the previous week. This happened, MBA officials noted, as mortgage rates were the…

IMB Profits Dropped In Q4

Independent mortgage banks (IMBs) and mortgage subsidiaries of chartered banks made $1,099 on each originated loan in Q4 2021, dropping from Q3’s $2,594, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Quarterly Mortgage Bankers Performance Report. More than three-fourths (76%) of firms analyzed made a net profit in Q4, especially firms with servicing operations. Those benefited from slower prepayments and low delinquencies which boosted their MSR valuations. But it’s a decrease from Q3’s rate of 92%. Plus, if no firms in the study had servicing operations, only 58% would have made a net profit last quarter. “Production margins tightened substantially in the fourth quarter of 2021. After a two-year run of above-average profitability, pre-tax net production income per loan reached its…

Loan Applications Down

Mortgage loan application volume fell 1.2% last week, the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) weekly survey shows. The adjusted Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, dropped 1.2%. The adjusted purchase index fell 1%, while the unadjusted purchase index fell 2% and was 8% lower YOY. The refinance index fell 3% and was down 49% YOY. Refinances made up 48.4% of total applications. Rising mortgage rates continue to impact application activity. Rates reached 4.27% last week, their highest since May 2019, and are adding to investor uncertainty. They’re also having an outsized impact on refis, which declined for both conventional and government loans. Refinances bounced up last week due to a brief drop in rates, though it was…

AIME Teams Up With Lobbying Firm Forbes Tate Partners

The Association of Independent Mortgage Experts (AIME) is teaming up with lobbying firm Forbes Tate Partners (FTP) to further broker representation in government affairs. The partnership is a step forward for AIME’s Government Affairs Committee, founded in 2021. “The broker community is thrilled that Forbes Tate will represent our interests in government affairs,” said Katie Sweeney, CEO of AIME.  “The strategies they’re advancing will effectively suit our needs by growing our footprint, increasing our impact, and building our reputation exponentially. Additionally, they will help us fight for a voice for the broker channel and champion consumers from all backgrounds.” FTP is a bipartisan public affairs firm specializing in government relations, traditional and digital communications, grassroots advocacy, third-party coordination, insights, polling,…

Morning Roundup (2/23/2022)– Digital Mortgage Experience, Q4 2021 HPI

Good Morning! Today is Wednesday, February 23. U.S. truckers plan to embark on a 2,500-mile cross-country drive to DC in protest of coronavirus restrictions. Germany put a stop to an $11 billion Russian natural gas pipeline that would link the two countries. The Supreme Court will hear a case from a web designer who objects to providing services for same-sex marriages. The Mortgage Note Reports Getting A Mortgage Online: Leaders at Bank of America say home loan applications initiated through their Digital Mortgage Experience accounted for 81% of total mortgage applications in 2021. That is up from 45% in 2020. FHFA HPI: Home price appreciation cooled slightly in Q4 2021, with prices rising 17.5% YOY and 3.3% from Q3 2021.…