The retail endorsement numbers for February 2010 are now available. Endorsement volume came in at 7,024 units for the month, a 7.9% drop from January, and a decline of 22.7% from last year. It seems like each month we’re reaching further back for a comparable volume period – we have to go all the way back to July 2006 to see a lower endorsement number.
Some highlights for the month:
- The number of active lenders decreased to 1,311 year to date. This is a drop of 19.1% vs. 2009, an even bigger drop than last month’s comparison although still outpaced by the 22.7% decline in loan volume.
- We continue to see very few new lenders entering the business each month, with less than 50 taking the plunge in February. We also saw a definitive drop in total active lenders for February below 1,000 – a significant threshold that the industry has been flirting with for 2 years now.
- Regional strength is all relative at this point, with the Southwest and Mid Atlantic leading the charge with growth on an average volume per lender basis. All regions saw declines in total volume vs. 2009, with Southwest falling the least at just a 1.1% drop while the Great Plains was off 31.7%.
- Among Field Offices, New Orleans led the way with 50% growth from 2009. Other winners included Houston (31%), Shreveport (26%), Anchorage (23%), and San Francisco (15%), with just 6 others scratching out a gain. We’ll know more about specific winners and losers as we start looking at more detailed county/city/zip level data, but as of now it looks pretty grim across the board.
Click on the image below for this month’s Retail Leaders report: