Retail Leaders – August 2009

Our Retail Leaders report for August, 2009 is now available. Overall industry volume fell 9% from July, coming in at 8,933 units for the month, and bringing the YTD volume to 77,657.

The devil is in the details, however. If you look at the charts on Page 2, you’ll see what we mean: the number of active lenders in the industry took a large jump in August, hitting a new monthly high, despite the drop in endorsements. The all-important metric of Endorsements/Lender correspondingly took a big dive, hitting the lowest level we’ve seen thus far. New lenders entering the market also climbed, though that value hasn’t yet reached any of the extremes seen before.

Financial Freedom was the lone member of the Top-10 lenders that managed to increase endorsement volume in the month. This is probably in part due to some catch-up at HUD from the name/ownership change.

Despite the anemic overall growth in the industry, several areas have had strong volume growth this year.  The chart below shows all metro areas (FHA field offices) with more than 1,000 HECMs year to date, plus positive volume change and/or loans per lender change.

The chart is fascinating because it illustrates very clearly the effects of competitive changes.

20090901-retail-leaders-chart1

If you’ve ever heard the saying “I left my heart in San Francisco”, you’ll recognize our reference when we say “You’re leaving loans in San Francisco!”  Not only did the city by the bay have a very healthy volume growth, but there have been very few new lenders there to dilute the volume, leading to the best loans per lender increase in the country at 75.2%.  Volume is certainly nice, but it’s never the whole story.  And if you found that quick illustration useful, check out the other gems you’ll find in our Retail package

Click the graphic below to view the entire report.

Retail Leaders Report