As we wind down the summer with Labor Day in the rear view mirror, it’s perhaps only fitting that the rest of the year is coming into view. If July’s numbers are any indication of what’s to come, the long rumored shift in business momentum toward large institutional shops and away from small brokers appears to be well under way.
Both Retail and Broker/Wholesale volumes were up in July (albeit off the pace of a furious bounce back in June), but the contrast couldn’t be clearer: Retail growth was more than 3x as fast as Broker/Wholesale, further widening the lead Retail only recently gained in total volume.
Among lenders, there’s a very interesting divergence happening as well. From a combined Retail/Wholesale perspective, many of the top 10 lenders are under-performing the industry’s growth rate since the May low point, but 3 lenders are striking exceptions:
- Genworth is up 228% to 581 units, with much of the growth coming from Wholesale
- Metlife is up 85% to 1,062 units
- Wells Fargo is up 37% to 1,460 units
Doing some quick math, it’s clear that these three lenders alone accounted for 97% of the increase in units from May to June for the entire industry. That’s perhaps the best example we’ve ever seen of a very narrow recovery in volume, which begs the question why these three are succeeding so much more than the rest of the industry together.
These are large institutions but there are other large institutions here that did not see similar growth, and 1 of the 3 isn’t an HMBS issuer so that argument has holes too. We don’t have an answer to this riddle for you this month, but for now we’re content to simply live in interesting times and hope someone does a case study someday.
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