“Is it cheaper to rent or is it cheaper to buy? Do I want stability to where I don’t have to worry about a lease every year? No matter what the cost of money is going to be, people are still going to want to buy properties,” he said.
Although refinance demand is extremely sensitive to weekly interest rate changes, there is a consensus within the industry that the downward trend will continue, having shrunk by about 22% in the last year.
The latest data from the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) also shows that purchase applications in 2021 rose to their second highest level since 2008, despite record high prices, confirming the view of most industry observers that originators should have long ago re-focused business on purchase volume – and that means forging closer ties with realtors.
Stoy agreed. “That’s what we’ve been doing. We’ve been a real realtor-focused business here for the last couple years – it really defines who we are.”
In his view, online lenders will take a battering as a result, and he made a passing reference to Better.com’s CEO Vishal Garg’s much publicized sacking of 900 employees during an ill-conceived Zoom call last month.