Holding Patterns – Industry Trends January 2011

As the first quarter of 2011 is drawing to a close, we’ve seen a remarkable number of changes in a short period of time. With 2 top 10 lenders exiting and one more leaving the wholesale channel, we have to expect an impact on applications and endorsements in the remainder of the year.

While we don’t see any of the effects just yet, it’s worth noting that application volumes have effectively stalled at the 8,000 per month level since October, with a brief interruption in January. February applications totaled 8,149, up 10.2% from January and 22.7% from last year. It’s looking more like weather really was the cause behind January’s decline, which we heard several clients mention.

It’s heartening to see that January was not compounded with further February declines, but that’s a world apart from a growth trend that gets back above 10,000 apps per month. We’ve pulled ourselves up off the floor but we’ve got a ways further to go in the recovery.

Saver endorsements were up to 4.3% of endorsements, which we expect means that Saver is likely above 10% of applications given the time-lag involved. As encouraging as that is, the needle isn’t moving overall and the hill is getting higher with recent lender exits taking brands, sales forces and marketing dollars off the street.

Click on the image below to view the full Industry Trends report for this month.

Industry Trends - January 20110