2021's quick start for the lender members of The Mortgage Collaborative continued in February, but signs of a slowdown to the boon of business also started to show its face. Due in large part to a robust month for refinance applications in January, February was another great closing month for the network. Closed loan units were down just 3.1% from the month prior. 61% of all February closings were on refinances, the highest % of refinance share we've ever seen in the four and a half years we've made TMC Benchmark available to our members. The mix of product on February closes loans stayed fairly consistent with past months, with 79% of closed loan units being done on conventional loans, 17% on government products, and 4% on other products.
New applications on the other hand were down 16.5% in February, falling to an average new application total very similar to what we saw in December. We predicted this app fall-off last month in this space after anecdotal conversations with our members. And expect to see another fairly significant drop in new applications in March.
More optimistically, operational efficiency bettered in February. The number of closed loan units closed per full-time processor in February increased to 11.5 from 11.1 the month prior. Closed loan units per full-time underwriter rose from 37.6 from 37.2 in January. Closed loan units per full-time closer increased to 45.4 from 44.5 a month ago. The average loan originator closed 6.9 loans in February, up from 6.7 in January. That average was in the low 8's all summer before peaking at 8.6 in September 2020. LO comp came in at an average of 99.9 on February closings, up from 97.2 bps in January.
The average "app date to clear to close date" time frame finally fell in February after six straight month of increases, falling from an all-time TMC Benchmark high of 47.9 days in January to 43.1 days in February. Let's take a look at how this number has trended throughout the course of the last several months:
After peaking in the summer, and subsiding in the fall, average salaries paid to processors and closers stayed nearly identical this month. On average, processors in our network were paid an average of $54,000 annually in February, while closers came in at $55,600. Underwriter average annual pay spiked up big time this month, coming in at $94,800.
The average cost per closed loan unit our members paid for their loan origination system came in at $117 in February, up $1 from the month prior. We also saw slight increases in the average cost per closed loan for point-of-sale systems to $48 and for CRM's at $88. The average non-third party lender fees charged by our members on January closed loans was $1,164 on conventional loans and $1,041 on higher margin government loans.
53% of this month's participants in TMC Benchmark were depositories and 47% were IMB's. 42% originate under $500M a year in annual volume, 24% originate between $500M-$1B, and 34% originate over $1 billion per year in annual production.
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The Mortgage Collaborative
TMC - Chief Operating Officer