Tips on avoiding mortgage layoffs
The mortgage industry has seen better days. Volatile interest rates fueled by inflation have created a climate where the average loan officer is now closing less than one loan per month with refinance locks plummeting to a low not seen in more than two decades.
From that assessment, Matt Clarke (pictured), COO of Churchill Mortgage, doesn’t expect things to get much better anytime soon: “So far, 2023 is much worse than anybody expected it to be,” he said.” As the year plays out, I think you’ll see an industry largely fragmented between the entities that have access to capital and those that don’t. The boom times masked a lot of inefficiencies – now is when you separate the wheat from the chaff.”
Is the mortgage industry in trouble?
“If you think about it, we went from historic low rates – unexpected historic low rates – in 2020 and 2021, and mortgage loans falling from the sky, to into 2022 when we had the single biggest increase in mortgage rates since 1981,” Clarke told MPA. “When you go from historic lows to historic increases and you couple that with continued undersupply of housing things kind of seized up a little bit November, December, early January. In fact, it felt like the entire industry froze – starting around the second week of December through the second week of January – where volume really pulled back. It pulled back all year in 2022 but the last few months are much worse than anyone anticipated with interest rates continuing to go up, inventory continuing to be low, refis basically gone. I think every company in the industry didn’t expect it to be as hard as it was.”