Wholesale Leaders – January 2010

Our first report of the new year and we have a new top wholesale lender to report.  After an extended run of growth in the wholesale business assisted in no small part to being early in the fixed rate product, Metlife has risen to take the top volume spot among wholesale lenders.  Bank of America also climbed into the number 2 spot, with longtime leader Financial Freedom slipping to 3rd.  JB Nutter and Generation remained at numbers 4 and 5, respectively.  Congrats to Mike Mooney and team!  (full disclosure, they reinvested part of their earnings from growing the business in an add on the top lender ranking page in this report, but we promise it didn’t influence their rankings at all…)

For those keeping score, we continue to see a counter-intuitive theme in the marketplace as volume declines seem to be hurting the direct lenders (“Retail”) more than brokers so far.  Direct lending (“Retail”) volumes were down almost 20% from December, compared with a 2.9% increase in broker business through wholesale lenders.  We don’t expect brokers to swim against the tide of overall industry volume declines for long, but we’ll continue to watch these numbers as a quick indicator of the relative health of these business channels.

Of course, we’re dealing with endorsements here so there’s a possibility it could mean that broker loans are slower to get endorsed and the decline might show up later.

We’re excited to report that we’ll soon be able to look at additional data to answer questions like this, as we now have 3 of the top 5 lenders participating in the industry data repository.  This puts our estimated coverage of reverse mortgage industry loans at over 40%, and we will start publishing reports talking about apps and fundings (instead of endorsements) once we have at least 5 of the top 10 and 50% coverage.  If you’re interested in finding out how you can participate and what this means for the industry, check out our status page or contact us directly for more information.

A few other highlights from the full report:

  • Among the top 10 lenders, only 1 active company (excluding World Alliance, which is in runoff mode) had a volume increase from December: Generation Mortgage, which more than doubled.  Much of this appears linked to a large increase in fixed rate volumes, but obviously Sherry and the team have been doing something right to see such a dramatic increase.
  • In case you’re wondering if the call center model works, One Reverse Mortgage continues to prove there are enough seniors comfortable completing a reverse transaction without a loan officer at the kitchen table to exclusively power a top 10 ranking.  They grew their retail volume faster than all others (including Metlife and Bank of America) in the past 12 months, showing that there’s more than one definition of “distribution” for all of us to consider.

Click the image below for the full report.

Wholesale Leaders