What goes around comes around. During the real estate boom of almost 20 years ago, brokers held a market share of over 50% of the industry. Then came the financial crisis, followed by Dodd-Frank and a whole host of regulations. Banks dominated, with the broker share moving down to just north of 10%. As recovery ensued, the huge bank market continued to drop gradually and the growth of non-bank mortgage companies grew significantly, especially during the refinance boom times of 2020 and 2021. The broker segment recovered as well but never reached the heights of those boom times.
In 2022, the growth of the industry screeched to a halt. Several mortgage-dominant banks have retrenched and altered their focus. The independent correspondent lenders don’t have the choice to focus on investments or credit card lending. Thus, they cut their overhead severely and either survive or fade into the night. With lower overhead to begin with, it stands to reason that the broker industry would also gain from this evolution as loan officers with non-bank companies go out and open their own businesses. The growth of Non-QM products continues to contribute to the trend because they provide the niches which help brokers thrive.