It got a little more profitable to be a mortgage lender in the third quarter, as the average net gain on a mortgage loan increased to $1,773, up from $1,686 in the second quarter, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Quarterly Mortgage Bankers Performance Report.
That’s a significant increase compared with a reported gain of $825 in the first quarter.
Average production volume was $764 million per company, up from $654 million per company in the second quarter. This was partly a function of higher loan balances, but it was also due to increased production: Each lender originated an average of 3,072 loans in the third quarter, up from 2,721 loans in the second quarter.
The number of lenders who saw a profit in the third quarter also increased.
“Including all business lines, 94 percent of mortgage lenders in our study reported pre-tax net financial profits in the third quarter of 2016, compared to 90 percent in the second quarter of 2016,” says Marina Walsh, vice president of industry analysis for the MBA, in a release. “An increase in production volume and slight decrease in expenses in the third quarter kept production profits relatively stable. These profits would have been even higher were it not for a decline in net secondary marketing income, primarily income related to mortgage servicing rights.”
Helping to boost the average profit per loan was a slight reduction in average production expenses.
“For the first time since the second quarter of 2015, production expenses were below $7,000 per loan, at $6,969 per loan,” Walsh says. “However, these expenses remain elevated by historical standards. Given the increase in loan count and the higher pull-through rate compared to the second quarter, we would have expected an even larger reduction in production expenses.
“Loan balances continued their upward march and reached another study-high of $247,563, which helped keep production revenue per loan relatively flat despite a revenue drop in basis points from the previous quarter,” Walsh adds.
In terms of dollar volume, purchases represented about 60% of all volume, down from 66% in the second quarter. For the mortgage industry as a whole, purchase share was about 53% in the third quarter, the MBA estimates.
The jumbo share of total first mortgage originations by dollar volume was about 7.66%, down from 8.49% in the second quarter.