From the editor
BY JENNIFER E. GARRET T, EDITOR
In the Past Month
A lo T oF prepAr ATion And pl Anning go in To our AnnuAl Top originATorS r AnkingS.
Believe it or not, we start working on the initial set-up of our online-entry system, e-mail marketing
campaign and more in early October, so that by the time January rolls around, we’re prepared to
handle the hundreds of submissions, e-mails and phone calls that come pouring in.
We weren’t prepared for this.
Between this past Jan. 3 and Jan. 31, nearly 1,500 originators entered their
data to see where they stood among the highest-producing originators
in the country. Needless to say, this record-breaking number of
submissions created some of the toughest competition we’ve
seen yet. In fact, the competition was so tight, we increased our
Top Dollar Volume rankings to include 300 originators — and even
with this expansion, the last originator on our list closed more than
$75 million in loans.
housing starts slip
WASHINGTON, D.C. — residential construction starts
slipped this past January from December but permits
issued increased, according to the U.S. Department of
project starts fell 8. 5 percent from December’s revised figure
of 973,000 starts on a seasonally adjusted annual rate.
The 890,000 starts for January, however, are 23. 6 percent
more than January 2012, when the rate stood at 720,000.
permits for privately owned housing units rose to a
seasonally adjusted annual rate of 925,000, a 1.8 percent
gain over December and a 35. 2 percent gain over the
684,000 permits issued in January 2012.
If $75 million is the bottom of the list, what does that mean for the
top? The No. 1 originator on the 2012 Top Dollar Volume list is Cohen
Financial Group’s Mark Cohen, who closed a staggering $590,146,685
in loans. This is his first year atop the list, and he shares his thoughts on
the market and what it takes to be a top originator on page 16.
Housing starts: April 16
To many of us, $590 million is a mind-blowing figure. But to give you an idea of
exactly just how much money that is, I pulled up a few other numbers to compare.
That loan volume is more than:
• 2012 box office gross of “The Dark Knight rises”: $448,139,099
• The 2007 gross domestic product of American Samoa: $575.3 million
• Advertising revenue for the 2013 Super Bowl: $240 million
• The New York Yankees 2013 payroll, Major League Baseball’s largest: $195,998,004
Although Cohen’s total volume production is impressive, all of the entrants to this year’s Top
Originators rankings were equally impressive in their own right. Starting on page 23, you can see
the top originators from across the country ranked by dollar volume, loans closed, Federal Housing
Administration volume and more.
In addition to the expanded Top Dollar Volume list, you’ll notice a few other changes we’ve made
this year. We’ve added a short list of companies with the most ranked originators, and we’ve
included reverse-mortgage originators in our rankings for the first time in an online-exclusive list at
Tracking home sales and prices
WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. sales of existing homes
increased slightly this past January over December,
according to the National Association of realtors.
Existing-home sales rose 0.4 percent month to month to a
seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4. 92 million. Sales for
the month were 9.1 percent above the 4. 51 million annual
rate from January 2012.
The pending Home Sales Index increased 4. 5 percent
to 105.9 this past January after sliding 4. 3 percent in
December. In January, the index stood at 9. 5 percent above
January 2012, making it 21 consecutive months that the
index has improved on a 12-month basis.
U.S. home price indexes closed out 2012 with strong gains.
The Federal Housing Finance Agency said home prices
increased 1.4 percent this past fourth quarter over the
The S&p/Case-Shiller Home price Index’s national
composite index posted a gain of 7. 3 percent for 2012.
All told, the nearly 1,500 entrants to Top Originators 2012 closed more than 326,000 loans for a
whopping production of more than $93 billion. For more on the numbers behind this year’s rankings,
read this month’s BackSpace on page 98.
Existing-home sales: April 22
pending home sales: April 29
S&p Case-Shiller home-price index: April 30
Whether they closed $5 million or $500 million, however, mortgage originators are clearly the engine
that drives the housing market. We can’t wait to see what you do this year.
Foreclosure activity continues to drop
IrVINE, Calif. — The number of U.S. homes in the process of
foreclosure dropped 7 percent from this past December to
January, according to realty Trac.
A new homeowner protection law in California that took
effect at the first of the year has altered the foreclosure
Due to the law, California did not lead the nation in
foreclosure filings for the first time since January 2007
when the housing bubble burst.
The monthly report also found foreclosure starts down 11
percent December to January and 20 percent lower than
January 2012, reaching a 79-month low.
Bank repossessions declined 5 percent from December and
24 percent from January 2012, also reaching a multiyear low.
… in May’s Scotsman Guide
Find out answers to the following questions:
• How can you engage your clients with storytelling?
• Is the housing market in Kansas on the upswing?
• Which non-traditional lead-generation sources produce results?
• How can you efficiently implement new technology in your office?
… and much more.
Online? Check out current and past editions of Scotsman Guide at scotsmanguide.com.
Builder confidence inches down
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Builder confidence in the market for
newly built, single-family homes suffered a one-point decline
this past February, according to the National Association of
Home Builders (NAHB).
“Following solid gains over the past year, builder
confidence has essentially leveled out and held in the
same three-point range over the last four months,” NAHB
Chairman rick Judson said. “This is partly due to ongoing
uncertainties about job growth and consumer access to
mortgage credit, but it’s also a reflection of the fact that
builders are now confronting rising costs for building
materials and, in some markets, limited availability of labor
and lots as demand for new homes strengthens.”
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