February was a startlingly similar month to the month prior for The Mortgage Collaborative's national network of members that submit data to TMC Benchmark.
New applications written were down 4.5% month-to-month. Of note inside that number was an uptick in government loan apps, up from 19% in January to 22% in February. That's the highest % of government apps in any month we've seen in TMC Benchmark in over three years. This was the 5th straight month we've seen total apps decline from the month prior as higher interest rates continue to choke off refinance business and restrict new home purchases.
Closed loan production (in units) was down 3.8% during the month of February when compared with the month prior. The mix of products was 73% conventional, 20% government, 7% other.
The purchase/refinance mix trended slightly more purchase month over month. Here's the purchase share we've seen in TMC Benchmark the last six months:
September 2021: 61%
October 2021: 61%
November 2021: 62%
December 2021: 66%
January 2022: 61%
February 2022: 63%
Operational efficiency continued to fall off in February to new all-time low levels as lenders try to make sense of how to handle overstaffed operational units amidst a volume slowdown while still trying to pursue initiatives to bring in new production. The number of closed loan units closed per full-time processor dropped to 7.2 in February from 7.3 in January. Closed loan units per full-time underwriter dropped to 21.6 from 22.5 the month prior. Closed loan units per full-time closer fell to 24.7 from 26.7 last month. The average loan originator closed 3.9 units in February, down from 4.3 in January. LO comp came in at an average of 95.4 bps, up 3.1 bps from last month's 92.3 total.
Average annual compensation paid to operational staff was very flat month-over-month, with average annual comp paid to FTE processors coming in at $51,200 this month. Underwriter annual comp ticked up slightly to $83,700. Average annual comp paid to closers stayed consistent at $52,600.
The average "app date to clear to close date" shot up 6 days in January after plummeting to 34.0 days in December, which is by far the lowest we've seen this number in the six-year history of TMC Benchmark. And came in at 39.6 days for this most recent month. Let's take a look at how this number trended throughout the course of 2021 and now into 2022:
January '21 - 47.9
February '21 - 43.1
March '21 - 42.8
April '21 - 45.7
May '21 - 43.8
June '21 - 41.8
July '21 - 43.2
August '21 - 42.5
September '21 - 42.3
October '21 - 42.6
November '21 - 41.0
December '21 - 34.0
January '22 - 40.1
February '22 - 39.6
The average cost per closed loan unit our members paid for their loan origination system (LOS) shot up to $131 in February, up $15 from the month prior. The average cost per closed loan unit for our members point-of-sale (POS) system was $54 in February and $89 for their CRM.
Average non-third party lender fees continues to trend slightly upward with conventional coming in at $1,133 and government at $1,109.
52% of this month's participants in TMC Benchmark were depositories and 48% were IMB's. 38% originate under $500M a year in annual volume, 27% originate between $500M-$1B, and 35% originate over $1 billion per year in annual production.
President & Chief Operating Officer
The Mortgage Collaborative