For this week’s episode of LLL, Jim speaks with longtime friend, Matt Einheber, Creator of TitleBox, to nerd out over some stats and numbers. They take a look back at the 2021 and 2022 markets, and speculate about 2023.
Matt, on the title side of things, provides a different vantage point than Jim, whose world is closing costs and fee disclosure. Whereas clients come to Matt further along in the mortgage process, Jim’s integrations with lender POS systems means he’s getting data in the pre-qualification phase. This gives LodeStar a “canary in the coal mine” status for housing market conditions. Looking back at 2021, LodeStar’s volume reached its highest point in May. 40-50% of quotes were purchases. Interest rates were still low. Matt notices that the peaks reflected in LodeStar’s data track with what you see in the market at large 90 days or so later.
In 2022, LodeStar’s volume was highest in March. About one third of quotes were still refis. And then, “the proverbial crap hit the fan.” Matt’s volume continued to hold strong through July.
Now in the first quarter of 2023, January saw an increase in LodeStar’s volume. 80% are purchases, indicating that, with interest rates still relatively high, the refi boom isn’t coming back. Given the 3-ish month lag of the general market behind LodeStar’s data, Matt expects (or at least hopes for) a March/April bump.
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