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   ARTICLE   |   From Scotsman Guide Residential Edition   |   June 2017

Top Mortgage Lenders 2016

Five years of rankings show constant growth in lending


View this year’s rankings >>

This year, Scotsman Guide celebrates the fifth anniversary of the Top Mortgage Lenders rankings. At this milestone, we recognize how the mortgage-lending industry’s growth has been mirrored in our past and current rankings.

Thanks to relatively low interest rates and appreciating home values – among other factors – many mortgage lenders have seen their production numbers surge since 2012. And this year’s rankings, which are based on 2016 lending volumes, are no exception. Higher production volumes marked all three lending sectors that we rank: retail, wholesale, and correspondent.

Scotsman Guide’s Top Mortgage Lenders rankings are not a survey of the entire residential mortgage-lending market, however. They are based on data provided by some of the nation’s top lenders that are interested in being recognized for their outstanding performance. Our rankings follow a thorough and comprehensive verification process, which makes us confident that they are accurate and reliable.

Mortgage lenders are likely to remember 2016 for its surprise volume gains, which were reflected in our rankings. The aggregate volume of the top 75 lenders ranked on our 2016 Top Overall Volume list exceeded $574 billion compared with the $450.5 billion for the 2015 counterpart group.

For the third consecutive year, Freedom Mortgage Corp. ranked No. 1 on the Top Overall Volume list. Freedom’s 2016 total volume reached $53.7 billion, nearly 46 percent higher than its 2015 volume. With this whopping volume increase, Freedom also landed on top of the list for Top Volume Gain, 2015 to 2016.

Ranked No. 2 on the Top Volume Gain list is Caliber Home Loans, with an increase of $14.7 billion or nearly 57 percent over its 2015 volume. The volume increase also fueled Caliber’s climb to No. 2 on our Top Overall Volume 2016 list from No. 3 in the previous year’s rankings. Caliber’s 2016 total volume was $40.6 billion.


Expectations that interest rates would trend higher incentivized mortgage lenders to focus on the purchase business in the past few years. Because the rise in interest rates came late this past year, refinances kept flowing in, fueling an overall increase in volumes.

The overall retail production of the 25 lenders ranked on the Top Retail Volume 2016 list was $280 billion, compared with $207.9 billion for the 2015 counterpart group. loanDepot maintained the top spot on our Top Retail Volume list for the second consecutive year with $32.4 billion in retail volume, a nearly 31 percent increase from its $24.8 billion retail volume in 2015.

Guaranteed Rate ranked No. 3 on the Top Retail Volume list with $22.9 billion, up from $18.1 billion in the previous year. With its entire volume in retail production, the company’s volume increase almost matched its increase in the number of closed loans, with increases of 27 percent and 26 percent, respectively. Guaranteed Rate closed 73,073 loans in 2016.

Wholesale and correspondent

Production volumes of wholesale and correspondent lenders that participated in this year’s rankings also are higher than past years’ lenders. The return of many familiar names to our rankings indicates that the rise is mirrored in lenders’ individual production numbers.

The overall wholesale production of the 25 lenders ranked on the 2016 Top Wholesale Volume list was $104.6 billion, up from $86.6 billion for the 2015 counterpart group. United Wholesale Mortgage seized the top spot for the second year running with $22.9 billion in wholesale production, up from $13 billion in 2015.

The overall correspondent production of the 10 lenders ranked on the 2016 Top Correspondent Volume list was $72.5 billion, compared to $62.8 billion for the 2015 counterpart group. Freedom Mortgage Corp. maintained the top spot for the third consecutive year with its correspondent volume of $21.3 billion, nearly 40 percent of the company’s total volume.

• • •

If the past years are any indication, mortgage lenders have learned how to adapt to market and regulatory changes, and many have stayed ahead of the curve. Whether 2017 will pan out to be another banner year for mortgage lending is yet to be seen. For now, congratulations to the top lenders — and their teams — that made the 2016 rankings. 

View this year’s rankings >>


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