The future of the independent mortgage broker channel

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Currently, one in five, or roughly 20%, of consumers work with an independent mortgage broker. With their strong, personal relationships, endless loan options and access to technology, we expect that number to continue to grow as more and more consumers become educated on the value brokers add to the home-buying experience.

This past year and a half brought on challenges we never saw coming. And as things return back to normal, we’re now looking forward to the next chapter and what is to come in the industry. The special thing about the broker channel is that it’s set up to succeed in any market, especially a purchase market.

We also can’t ignore that the market is more competitive than ever before with limited inventory coupled with low rates. As we head into the final quarter of the year, let’s dig into what we believe the future holds for the wholesale and broker channels.

1. The market will normalize

Rates will continue to fluctuate — that’s simply the nature of the mortgage business. But there are a couple of things to keep in mind. First, refinances won’t necessarily end if rates increase. They’ll simply slow down. Second, when purchase loans increase, mortgage brokers win.

Let’s tackle the refinance surge first. After over a year of historically low rates and record production volume in 2020, refinances may be slowing down, but they’re not going away. With the average mortgage rate currently in the low 3’s, there’s still a significant amount of borrowers who have loans locked in at rates in the 4’s or 5’s, meaning they are still eligible for a refinance. Other borrowers may want a cash-out refinance or may be looking for options to consolidate other high-interest debt. In other words, the opportunities for refinances are still there.

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