2014 Top Mortgage Banking Firms

Mortgage bankers continue to see good things coming for 2014. This optimism is bolstered in part by increased certainty in the lending environment.

Be sure to tune into MHN Radio to hear Jack Kern and Mike Ratliff dissect the changing nature of mortgage banking, as well as the challenges and opportunities 2014 should present to the industry.

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Cautious Optimism

By Mike Ratliff and Jack Kern

Mortgage bankers continue to see good things coming for 2014. This optimism is bolstered in part by increased certainty in the lending environment. More than 60 percent of the firms that responded to the 2014 MHN-CPE Top Mortgage Banking Firms survey anticipate an increase in business for the new calendar year, while nearly a quarter expect to see a significant increase in business—somewhere in the 21 to 41 percent range.

While this year’s business is heavily weighted toward multifamily, we anticipate that lending will continue to diversify throughout 2014. We believe that the industrial and retail sectors will both see a marked increase in activity when we re-examine these firms next year.

MB_MHN_3Transaction levels are expected to rise in 2014, though refinancing volume should remain in the “trough” until 2016 and 2017, when CMBS loan maturities realize a sharp uptick. That said, properties across all sectors are seeing fundamentals improve, with higher rents and lower occupancies, putting owners—both old and new—in a better position to refinance. In addition, December brought a bipartisan budget deal that signals Washington might be ready to play nice and avoid the hiccups that periodically downshifted the ongoing economic recovery. However, uncertainty over the future of the GSEs and concerns over a tapering of QE3 will keep the optimism for 2014 in check.

Methodology

This year’s group of participating companies provided a view of their transaction volumes and a breakout of what loans were processed, including healthcare, multifamily, office, retail, hotel, industrial, mixed-use and other types. Our rankings consider a combination of greatest coverage, transaction volume commitment across sectors, loan positioning, total intermediary lending volume and direct lending activity.