2022 – Year in Review
As I reflect on 2022, it was a year of two markets. We began the year much like 2021 ended: business fairly robust, refinances in the pipelines, purchase business strained by lack of inventory. We applied the business continuity lessons learned during the pandemic by furthering our automation, streamlining workflows and cross training our employees. And then, interest rates began to rise and rise and rise again with breath-taking rapidity.
As veterans of the mortgage industry, we are accustomed to preparing for the unexpected, but the latter half of the year felt different from the markets of the 80s, 90s and the Great Recession of 2007-2008. Colleagues that have been around for a while recalled interest rates of 12%, 13%, 15% or more along with high inflation. And how can we forget the years of negative amortizing ARMs that caught homeowners unaware of unpaid principal piling up on their mortgage balances and home prices not increasing to cover the debt. Of course, during that time period, you could buy a starter home or a move-up home for less than $100,000 which helped take the edge off affordability issues. Today, in many neighborhoods, those homes are now $500,000 or more. Looking back, it is hard to believe that we had so much excess inventory in the 2000s.
The industry began to right-size itself with massive layoffs, company closings and mergers. Reading my LinkedIn feed each morning became painful as friends, colleagues and networking buddies posted their “looking for new opportunities” messages. But as painful as this is, I am encouraged and heartened by the outpouring of support, including total strangers offering to lend a hand and keep an eye out for opportunities for those searching for employment.
As with any adverse market, there are windows of opportunities. Gooi has had discussions with multiple prospects starting up a new mortgage business. The volumes of 2020 and 2021 did not allow for scalability as you needed to make it “big”. A market like this enables start-ups to begin on a smaller level, taking a measured approach to growth with the ability to hire from a pool of talented loan officers. Adding our seamless, end-to-end back-office support allows lenders to focus on generating income without the distraction of operations.
In addition, today’s loans are increasingly complex and include ARMs, balloons, self-employed borrowers, non-QM, HELOCs, new construction, portfolio, commercial and investment loans. Our team has the experience needed to handle this wide variety of loan types without additional training or ramping up. Our scalable, hybrid model allows us to handle fluctuating volumes with significant time and cost savings while delivering impeccable quality. We are licensed in a majority of the U.S. and our limited warranty reduces your risk.
Our business plan for 2023 is to build upon opportunities by creating solid business continuity plans and aligning our resources to help clients stay competitive and profitable. Together we will be prepared for the unexpected.
—Laura Rosenberger, SVP Sales & Marketing