Below is an excerpt of The Rough Road Ahead for the Mortgage Industry that ran in National Mortgage News written by Jornaya Head of Consumer Finance Mike Eshelman.
All of the warning signs have been posted. Rates ticked up. Margins thinned. And lead buying from third-party lead generation companies has increased. The mortgage industry is about to get rough and lenders should be prepared to sharpen all aspects of the marketing and sales operations process, if they haven’t done so already, in order to survive. Unfortunately, there will undoubtedly be some casualties in the next 12 months.
The housing finance industry has been a bright spot for the economy for the past year. Rates hit all-time lows over a dozen times in 2020. Originators hit records time and time again. While the U.S. unemployment rate hit an all-time high of 14.8% in April 2020, the mortgage industry was dramatically understaffed to service the high demand of consumers flocking to buy homes and refinance into lower mortgage rates. Demand spiked so much that lenders were actually increasing their rates substantially in order to curb volume, which resulted in the highest net production profits in nearly 13 years.