BY JENNIFER E. GARRET T, EDITOR
Top Originators and the mortgage market
Our annual Top Originators rank- ings not only give us a picture of the top-producing mortgage
bankers, brokers and originators in the
business, but also a lot of data.
staggering figure. The top 300 originators by dollar volume closed more than
$36.7 billion in loans — just slightly
less than the $38 billion closed by everyone who entered Top Originators
2011. These 300 originators closed
115,165 loans in 2012. That represents
enough loans to provide every resident
of Billings, Mont., with a mortgage.
In addition to being some truly astronomical numbers, these figures
represent a significant year-over-year
increase. In fact, because of the large
number of submissions we received,
we increased our Top Dollar Volume
ranking to include 300 originators, instead of 200. Looking just at the top
200 on that list, however, still gives
2012 an edge over 2011. The top 200
in 2012 closed more than $28 billion
— the highest total we’ve seen to date
and $10 billion higher than 2011.
On the whole, it was a good year
for mortgage originators. In fact,
95 percent of originators who submitted data this year saw an increase in
overall volume from 2011 to 2012.
Top originATorS loAn produc Tion
Total Volume (in billions)
2009 2010 2011 2012
Total Loans Closed Total Volume (in billions)
note: Numbers reflect the production of the top 200 originators by dollar volume.
niche produc Tion volumeS
numbers in the raw
With such a large number of entrants
this year, we knew that production-volume figures would be high, but we
were not prepared for exactly how high
they would go.
The 2012 No. 1 originator by dollar
volume, Cohen Financial Group’s Mark
Cohen, closed more than $590 million
in loans this past year. No previous
top originator had closed more than
$386 million. But if you think Cohen’s
numbers were just an aberration —
he does a number of jumbo loans in
the Beverly Hills, Calif., market — the
second-highest originator by dollar volume, Guaranteed rate’s Harinder Johar,
closed more than $400 million in loans
in 2012. Clearly, this past year represented a significant step in the industry’s recovery from the housing crisis.
These two originators weren’t the
only ones who had a great year, however. Our nearly 1,500 entrants closed
326,556 loans for a total of more than
$93 billion in volume. That’s more
than the reported net worth of Carlos
Slim Helu, whose $73 billion in net
worth ranks him No. 1 on Forbes’ list
of the richest people on the planet.
(Bill Gates, worth a paltry $67 billion,
comes in second.) For further perspective, the 2012 gross domestic product
(GDp) of Oman is $90 billion. Libya’s
GDp is $87 billion. The 2012-13 state
budget of California is $91.3 billion.
Of course, that volume includes everyone who entered Top Originators
this year. If you look just at those who
made the Top Dollar Volume ranking, you’re still looking at a pretty
Volume in Billions
These record-setting numbers don’t
stop at conventional loans, however.
Niche production volumes all saw year-over-year increases, as well.
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
(VA) loan production has skyrocketed in the three years we’ve been
following this niche. In 2010, the top
25 originators by VA volume closed
more than $568 million in loans. In
2011, that number increased to more
than $917 million, and this past year,
volume jumped to more than $2 billion. In fact, the top producer by VA
volume closed $177,293,790 in 2012,
a 135 percent increase over the 2011
top VA volume.
Loans from the U.S. Department of
Agriculture (USDA) also have been increasing steadily since we started including them in 2010. That year, the top
25 producers by USDA volume closed
$104,084,845 in loans. In 2012, that
figure hit $196,908,191 — an 89 percent increase.
Although Federal Housing Administration (FHA) volume also increased
in 2012, its production volumes have
fluctuated in the past several years. We
first started tracking FHA production
in the 2009 Top Originators rankings,
and that year, the top 25 producers by
FHA volume closed more than $1.1 billion in loans. That figure shrank to $917
million in 2010 and declined further to
$780 million in 2011. This past year,
however, production jumped back up
to more than $1 billion, a 31 percent
note: Volumes reflect the production of the top 25 originators in each niche category.
In addition to our “Big 3” niche rankings, for the first time, we’re ranking
reverse mortgage originations. This list
is exclusively online, but here’s a sneak
peek: The No. 1 producer by reverse-mortgage volume closed $13,089,773
in this niche in 2012, and the top
25 originators by reverse volume closed
more than $139 million in reverse loans.
Check out the list at
Broker or banker?
Like the fluctuations in niche production
volumes, the ranks of the Top Originators
have varied from year to year. One of the
first questions we ask entrants is how
they classify their work: mortgage broker, mortgage banker or both? Since we
first started including this question in the
2009 rankings, the ranks of mortgage
bankers have been increasing steadily.
This past year was no different.
Mortgage bankers made up 66 percent of the Top Originators entrants
this past year, an increase from the 62
percent seen in 2011 and a significant
jump from the 47 percent seen in 2009.
Entrants who classified themselves
as mortgage brokers in 2012 made up
only 11 percent of the total, a decrease
from the 13 percent entered in 2011.
The number of entrants who responded “both” continues to decline
as it has every year since the 2009 rankings. That year, entrants classified as
“both” accounted for 38 percent of total
entrants. In 2010, that number slipped
to 27 percent; in 2011, to 25 percent; and
this past year, to 23 percent.
Of interest, however, is that the percentage of entrants in each category
does not translate exactly to the number of originators who make the final
rankings. In the top 300 by dollar volume, for example, mortgage bankers
made up 58 percent of ranked originators, and mortgage brokers accounted
for 13 percent of ranked originators.
• • •
After swimming through this ocean of
information, the main message of the
2012 Top Originators rankings seems to
be a simple one: improvement. Across
the board, originators closed more
loans for higher loan volume — a result
with which we can all be happy.
Here’s hoping that 2013 brings more
of the same. •
Jennifer e. garrett is editor of Scotsman Guide.
reach her at (800) 297-6061 or jenniferg@