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December TMC Benchmark Data: Closings Stay Strong, Apps Down 10%, Average Time To Close Hits All Time High As Record Year Comes To A Close
2020 is now officially in the books. While it was a perilous year for many globally, domestically it was an incredible year for the US mortgage lending industry and the 215+ members of The Mortgage Collaborative.
These last few months, we've been talking about a slow and modest drop off for closed loan units and new applications, and that's what we continued to see in December.
Let's start with the data on closed loan units. September 2020 was the pinnacle. Most lenders will look back at that month as their busiest closing month of the year and for many, in the history of their company. Closed loan units fell by 2% in October, another 8% in November, and here in December we were down just 1% from the prior month. So looked at another way, closed loan volume in December was down 11% in total from the September peaks our lender members saw. 76% of December closed loan units were on conventional loans, down 2% from November's 78% total. Government closings represented 20% of December volume, up 2% from November's 18% total.
The refi % share was down 7% from November, but still accounted for 51% of all December closed loans. Here's a look at the TMC Benchmark purchase/refi mix (closed loan units) since the pandemic started:
May - 42% purchase/58% refinance
June - 51% purchase/49% refinance
July - 58% purchase/42% refinance
August - 55% purchase/45% refinance
September - 51% purchase/49% refinance
October - 51% purchase/49% refinance
November - 42% purchase/58% refinance
December - 49% purchase/51% refinance
Applications fell off a little more than closings in December, down 10% from November's new application totals (off the heels of a 7% drop the month prior), portending a 10-15% drop off in closed loan units in the winter months to come. 78% of new December applications were on conventional loans, 17% on government products, and 5% on all other products.
Operational efficiency bettered in December, ending a four-month trend of waning efficiency that we started to see on August closed loans. The number of closed loan units closed per full-time processor in December increased to 13.9 from 13.2 the month prior, with the peak for 2020 being 17.2 on June closings. Closed loan units per full-time underwriter increased to 44.3 from 41.9 the month prior with the 2020 high of 54.8 in this area also coming in June. Closed loan units per full-time closer increased to 52.2 on December closings from 51.0 in November. The high water mark here was also in June, coming in at 64.9 that month. The average loan originator closed 7.8 loans in December, up from 7.5 in November. That average was in the low 8's all summer before peaking at 8.6 in September. LO comp came in at an average of exactly 100.0 bps in December, up from 99.3 bps on November closings.
The average "app date to clear to close date" time frame continued to rise in December, hitting an all-time TMC Benchmark high of 47.4 days. Let's take a look at how this number escalated throughout the year:
After peaking in the summer, and subsiding in the fall, average salaries paid to processors, underwriters, and closers ticked up this month. On average, processors in our network were paid $54,800 annually in November, while underwriters came in at $88,400 and closers at $58,100.
The average cost per closed loan unit our members paid for their loan origination system came in at $117 in December, down from a 2020 high of $124 the month prior. We also saw decreases in the average cost per closed loan for point-of-sale systems to $53 and for CRM's at $108. The average non-third party lender fees charged by our members on December closed loans was $1,119 on conventional loans, $1,035 on government, and $1,282 on all other products.
50% of this month's participants in TMC Benchmark were IMB's and 50% were depositories. 42% originate under $500M a year in annual volume, 23% originate between $500M-$1B, and 35% originate over $1 billion per year in annual production.
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During last week's TMC Team strategic planning meeting for 2021, we all shared our favorite recipes that we used during 2020 that helped get us through the year. Instead of hogging these delicious concoctions to ourselves, we wanted to share it with the rest of our TMC Family!
In this post you can find:
If you end up making some of these recipes, let us know how it went. Enjoy!
Jim Park: Lemon Ricotta Pancakes
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbs baking powder
3 Tbs sugar
½ tsp salt
1 cup milk
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 Tbs fresh lemon juice
1 Tbs fresh lemon zest
2 Tbs butter for cooking
OPTIONAL FOR SERVING
Extra ricotta, lemon zest, powdered sugar & blueberries
Rich Swerbinsky: Sunday Sauce & Meatballs
First things first. Open a good bottle of wine to get the morning started. Making sauce is a perfectly acceptable reason to tie on a little Sunday morning buzz. You’ll use wine in the sauce recipe & need to give it a little time to breath anyway. We all know food is funner to prepare & eat when drunk. I like dry sweet Italian wines in my sauce, a nice Chianti or Sangiovese.
You’ll want to get started about 10-11 AM if you want to eat at around 5 PM. You’ll need about 45 minutes to an hour to get it going, then another 45 minutes or so to make and fry the meatballs a couple hours later.
To get things started, in a large stockpot, sear and brown desired meat in Extra Virgin Olive Oil. You can use Italian sausage, pork chops, or western style ribs. The browned meat gives the sauce a lot of flavor and provides the base. I usually use some hot Italian sausage and a few FAT bone-in pork chops. The bone adds flavor. The meat will stay in the sauce for the duration. Thinner chops or ribs will shred in the sauce when stirring it, some people like that, some don’t.
When meat is browned, add a generous amount of chopped garlic (between a golf ball and tennis ball sized, depending on your love of garlic) and let it fry with the meat. The garlic will cook quickly, don’t let it burn, especially if you’ve already had a couple glasses of wine. After the garlic cooks a bit, I add about ¾ cup of red wine (see above) and 3 or 4 tablespoons of sugar. Let the meat/garlic/wine/sugar mix come back to a slow boil and add the following:
Let the sauce come to a light boil and add the following - fresh parsley, oregano, grated parmesan cheese, crushed red pepper, basil, garlic salt, pepper, and 2-3 bay leaves
It’s crucial that you use fresh spices. Most spices stay good in the cupboard for a couple of years, but they lose flavor over time. If you can use fresh chopped basil and oregano … that’s only going to make the sauce tastier. Fresh parsley is a must. Of course the amounts you add of each of the above ingredients will help determine the taste. I add less than I want to and then supplement throughout. The best part of making sauce is tasting it throughout the day and tweaking the taste of it.
You may have to add water through the cooking process if the sauce gets too thick. I usually end up adding another can or two of water as the sauce cooks. Remember, you can always add water to thin … but not take water out to thicken. Also, my recipe calls for more crushed tomatoes than other recipes, which inherently makes the sauce a little thicker to begin with.
The sauce should be of medium consistency and you should let it cook for 4-5 hours. If you leave the lid on, the sauce will thin out. Lid off, and the sauce will thicken. I usually crack the lid for the majority of the time. Stir the sauce at least every 20-30 minutes, making sure to scrape all the goodness off the side and bottom of the saucepan as it builds up.
I like my sauce a little thicker than most and go heavy on the wine, garlic, and crushed red pepper. It’s all a matter of preference and the beauty of making sauce is that you will tweak the recipe a little bit every time you make it. This will make enough for a feast, as well as enough extra to freeze for 3-4 additional meals. I fry meatballs and dump them in the sauce about 2-3 hours before it’s done. Here is the homemade meatball recipe:
Buy 1 ½ lbs of the pork/beef/veal ground meat combo that they sell at all grocery stores. Add 4 large pieces of Italian bread. Before adding the bread, quickly soak the bread with water and wring out before breaking up bread pieces into the meat mixture. Add 2 eggs and all the ingredients you used to season the sauce (except wine, sugar, and bay leaves). Heavy on the garlic. Mix everything together and roll into meatballs. Fry in extra virgin olive oil until browned and dump into sauce after they cool.
You will now have a plethora of meats in the sauce to serve with cavatelli (or your pasta noodle of choice) and the sauce and the rest of the loaf of the Italian bread. Feast. Sleep. Wake up and eat cold leftovers for breakfast.
Kathy Acosta: Sriracha Jerk Chicken
4 chicken breasts
½ cup Sriracha
6 spoons oregano
2 spoons cumin
1 spoon cayenne pepper
½ cup canola oil
Salt & pepper
Faith Howard-Mooney: Planet Hollywood Captain Crunch Chicken
2 Cups Cap’n Crunch Cereal
1 ½ cups corn flakes
1 cup milk
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
½ tsp black pepper
2 lbs chicken breasts cut in 1 oz tenders
Vegetable oil (if you want to fry). I use my air fryer.
Can also be fried in oil: Heat in oil in a large heavy skillet to 325. Drop coated chicken tenders carefully in hot oil and cook until golden brown and fully cooked, 3-5 minutes depending on size.
Ashleigh Alexander: Pay Day Bars
1 box yellow cake mix
1/3 cup margarine
3 cups mini marshmallows
2/3 cup light corn syrup
¼ cup margarine
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 12 oz. package peanut butter chips
2 cups chopped salted peanuts
Sarah Oldani: Hearty Chili
3 lb ground beef sirloin (we prefer to use ground sirloin but any beef will do)
Any combination of ground beef, turkey, or pork works well. Sometimes I use 2 lb ground sirloin, 1 lb reg ground beef or turkey, etc. Use 2 lbs venison meat and 1 lb beef for the “Hunter’s” version of this recipe.
4 cans Hunt’s Fire Roasted Tomatoes (they’re diced-these are our personal favorite)
2 cans black beans
2 cans chili beans (not kidney)
1 can beef broth
1 green pepper (I add extra bell peppers when first making it & as we eat leftovers to keep the crunch – yellow, orange, red are yum too.
2 medium onions or 1 large onion
2 packets of brown gravy (I use low sodium version)
2 packets of chili seasoning (I use low sodium version)
2 teaspoons cumin
6 teaspoons chicken bouillon
1 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper to taste
Dash of Garlic powder
Angie Scarfino: Cherry Topped Cheesecake
1 package Duncan Hines yellow cake mix
2 tbsp oil
2 8 oz. pkg cream cheese, softened
1 lb., 5 oz. cherry pie fillinf
½ cup sugar
1 ½ cups milk
3 tbsp lemon juice
3 tsp vanilla
Ryan Carr: Mama’s Pecan Pie
Pillsbury All-Ready Pie Crust (This is cheating, but it is incredibly good - find in dairy case) Or make homemade pie crust if time allows}
1 cup corn syrup (light or dark, I use light)
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup margarine or butter, melted
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon vanilla
1-1/2 cups pecan halves
Tom Gallucci: Instant Pot French Dip Subs
3-4 lb chuck roast or bottom round beef roast
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp onion powder
1 Tbsp olive oil
1.25 oz pkg dry au jus mix
12 oz can beer
3 Tbsp butter melted
1/4 tsp garlic powder
12 slices of provolone cheese
8 large rolls
1 Tbsp freshly chopped parsley optional
Gabriela Mendicino: Classic Ratatouille
2 pounds ripe red tomatoes (6 medium or 4 large)
1 medium eggplant (1 pound), diced into ½-inch cubes
1 large red, orange, or yellow bell pepper (about 8 ounces), cut into ¾-inch squares
1 medium-to-large zucchini (about 8 ounces), diced into ½-inch cubes
1 large yellow squash (about 8 ounces), diced into ½-inch cubes
5 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided
¾ teaspoon fine sea salt, divided, more to taste
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
¼ cup chopped fresh basil
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes, more or less to taste
¼ teaspoon dried oregano
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Amy Boor: Italian Wedding Soup
Meatballs (make them small, more work but worth it!)
8 oz lean ground beef
8 oz ground pork
1/2 cup fresh hearty white bread crumbs*
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 1/2 tsp minced fresh oregano
1/2 cup finely shredded parmesan (freshly shredded ideally, for the meatballs and the soup before serving)
1 large egg
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 1/4 cups 1/4-inch diced carrots
1 1/4 cups diced yellow onion
3/4 cup 1/4-inch diced celery
4 cloves garlic, minced (1 1/2 Tbsp)
5 (14.5 oz) cans low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup dry acini de pepe or orzo pasta**
6 oz fresh spinach, chopped
Finely shredded parmesan, for serving
Toni Bramley: English Lemon Shortbread Strips
2 cups butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup lemon juice
4 teaspoons freshly grated lemon zest
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons butter, softened
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon freshly grated lemon zest
Sarah VanWagnen: Buffalo Chicken Chili
I typically double the below recipe to fill the crock pot.
1 pound chicken (cooked then sliced or pulled into pieces)
15 oz canned white navy beans (drained and rinsed)
14.5 oz can fire roasted tomatoes (drained)
2 cups chicken broth
1/4-1/2 cup buffalo wing sauce
1 package ranch dressing mix
1 cup frozen corn kernels
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon celery salt
1/2 teaspoon dried cilantro
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 oz cream cheese
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