Vast majority of Top Originators project positivity in latest MOSS survey

H1 2024 poll results reveal that almost no Top Originators expect business to worsen over the next six months

Optimism abounds among top-producing loan originators according to the latest iteration of Scotsman Guide’s Mortgage Originator Sentiment Survey (MOSS).

First-half 2024 MOSS data, collected from Jan. 1-31, shows that a staggering 85% of mortgage professionals who qualified for Scotsman Guide’s Top Originators rankings expect that their business will improve over the next six months compared to the previous six months. That’s a stark contrast to the second-half 2023 MOSS poll, in which just 45% of originators indicated that they expected their business to perform better.

Even more notably, less than 1% of Top Originators believe their business will get worse in the next six months — an infinitesimal percentage thus far unheard of in the MOSS series. Compare that to the second half of 2023, when 9% of Top Originators were pessimistic about their business.

Fourteen percent of Top Originators foresee no change in business during the first half of this year. At the beginning of the Q2 2023, some 45% of respondents were expecting their business to stay the same.

“Top Originators in Scotsman Guide’s rankings are overwhelmingly encouraged by the direction of the market,” said Kevin Gray, CEO at Scotsman Guide. “We saw how the mortgage rate environment held back originator sentiment the last time we performed the survey, back when rates were on their way up toward an 8% peak. Now that rates have moderated somewhat, it’s fascinating to see just how much it’s moved the needle.”

Gray noted that with rates on the rise of late again, their potential downside effect on market confidence bears watching. But he also added that the positive impact of recently increasing inventory shouldn’t be understated.

“I believe that inventory is the driver of the transactions,” Gray said. “We’ve seen many reports come through since the tail end of last year regarding steady gains in inventory. With inventory up, transactions are increasing, and I think savvy originators are cognizant of that market impact.”

Indeed, inventory is top of mind for many Top Originators as well. Sixty-five percent of originators listed housing inventory as the biggest challenge they see in the market in the next six months, far ahead of every other factor. Economy, cited by 44% of Top Originators, was second, followed by home prices at 41%.

Another notable takeaway from the most recent MOSS survey: market optimism is extending to hiring for many Top Originators. Forty-nine percent of respondents said “yes” when asked if they plan to be hiring or recruiting during the next six months, compared to 27% who said “maybe” and 24% who said “no.”


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