What's ahead for the mortgage industry in 2023?

United Wholesale Mortgage exec glimpses into the future

What's ahead for the mortgage industry in 2023?

Short of having a crystal ball, it’s difficult to predict the future. Indulging Mortgage Professional America with insight, a top executive at United Wholesale Mortgage took a shot at it.

During a telephone interview with MPA, the company’s chief strategy officer, Alex Elezaj (pictured), looked into the future - envisioning what various dynamics of the housing industry might look like in 2023.

The purchase market will remain strong

Unless borrowers plan to flip a house, Elezaj said next year will remain a great time to buy. “These higher interest rates, at some point they’re going to come down whether that’s 12 months or 24 months from now,” he said. “But people are looking at it like: ‘hey, what are all my options?’”

He pointed to UWM’s business model as one ensuring future success: ”That’s why our business model working with individual mortgage brokers – you’re going to get all the different varieties of products and services because individual brokers are working with multiple lenders. It’s really important for people to understand the products and services that are out there for them. We have buydown products to buy down the rate for the first couple of years of their loan. There’s first time homebuyers’ credits; there’s affordability credits. There are a lot of different things out there. And I think what we’re saying is consumers are still going to move, they’re still going to buy homes. There’s a lot of activity out there still. We’re just thinking about making sure we’re capitalizing on all that with all the different things that we offer.”

Read more: Broker channel to see dramatic rise

Moves to ensure affordability could bear fruit

Expect to see more policy updates made by the government-sponsored entities (GSEs) regarding home affordability, Elezaj said.

“We’re very close to all the GSEs,” he said. “And the administration has made it a big focus, in a very sound way, with affordability and affordability products. They’re going to continue to do these kinds of things to help consumers across America and that’s why it’s so important. If you’re going to buy a home today and you’re a first-time homebuyer or a veteran or whatever your situation is, you might not be aware of all the different things that are out there. Certain products are available for certain lenders or different situations. We just rolled out our Hometown Heroes program. These are things you have to talk to with individual mortgage brokers because they work with many lenders, and they’ll be able to let you know what you qualify for and what’s out there.”

Retention will be the name of the game

“We are building the next refinance boom in today’s purchase market, and everything that goes into retaining clients for that next phase of this cyclical industry is going to be the name of the game for 2023,” Elezaj said. “We’ll take the refis like anyone else when they happen, but the reality is the foundation of our business and how we think about it is all about purchase. There’s a lot that’s involved in a purchase transaction so we’re equipping and making sure of all the technology for the speed and efficiency and closing loans for two weeks or less. These are the things that allow the borrower to have a great experience with the loan officer – make sure they’re staying in touch for the next refi opportunity and that ultimately flows to the real estate agents.”

Read next: Broadening the broker channel’s perspective

Expect a changing tide as broker channel grows 

“Today, mortgage brokers account for 22% share of the loan origination market, and we believe that number will be 33% by 2026,” Elezaj said. “Keep in mind back in the 2000s, the broker market was 50% of the market and then it went down and now it’s on its way back. We’re just going to go back to the area the market saw before, but it’s going to be done in a more efficient and effective way. But the data’s the data. When you look at HMDA [Home Mortgage Disclosure Act] data, it’s $9,400 savings for consumers with individual brokers and $10,400 for minority buyers. To me, who doesn’t want to save ten grand? The more consumers are educated and know where to find their broker and get all those options available to them, the more the wholesale channel is going to grow.”