Back to reality was the theme in April, as TMC's national network of best-in-class lender members saw the first month of significant declines in new applications and loan closings off the sky-high totals of the past twelve months. Still a very strong month by historical standards, TMC members saw closed loan units fall by 23% and new applications written by 21% in April when compared to March.
We'd previously seen gradual declines in closed loan unit activity from October 2020 to February 2021 before a big closing month in March. In April, we saw closings fall back off. Purchase closings were only down 2% month-over-month, but refinance closed loan units dropped 40% from March to April. Also of note, conventional loans dropped from 79% of March closings to 76% in April, with the govie and "other" categories both ticking up a bit.
Of note in the April new application metrics was a continued decline in the % of apps taken on conventional loans. Historically this figure has been in the high 70's, but fell to 74% in April, likely due to the tightening efforts by FHFA through Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
With closings dropping and lenders "staffed up" and not ready to reduce workforce as we head into the summer, unsurprisingly the efficiency numbers waned in April for our members. The number of closed loan units closed per full-time processor dropped from 14.9 the month prior to 11.7 in April. Closed loan units per full-time underwriter fell from 47.9 from 37.3. Closed loan units per full-time closer dropped from 56.0 to 42.1. The average loan originator closed 6.8 loans in April, down from 8.6 in March. LO comp continued to drop, coming in at an average of 91.5 bps on April closings, down from 96.4 bps in March.
After peaking in the summer, subsiding in the fall, and plummeting last month ... salaries paid to operational staff stayed pretty consistent in April. On average, processors in our network were paid an average of $53,700 annually, while underwriters came in at $84,100, with closers at $57,100.
The average "app date to clear to close date" ticked up from 42.8 days to 45.7 days in April as lenders closed more purchases as a percentage of their total closings. Let's take a look at how this number has trended throughout the course of the last several months:
The average cost per closed loan unit our members paid for their loan origination system came in at $119 in April, up $1 from the month prior. The average cost per closed loan unit for our members point-of-sale (POS) system was $60 in April and $87 for their CRM.
55% of this month's participants in TMC Benchmark were depositories and 45% were IMB's. 41% originate under $500M a year in annual volume, 23% originate between $500M-$1B, and 36% originate over $1 billion per year in annual production.
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The Mortgage Collaborative
TMC - Chief Operating Officer