NMLS Call Report Data Trends in Mortgage Volume and Licenses

The National Mortgage Licensing System (NMLS) site contains interesting U.S. mortgage loan-related data that is shared with the public. Like the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) site, you can download data regarding loans and institutions in flat files to dissect and graph.

In 2011, state-licensed mortgage companies began submitting a quarterly call report of mortgage activity through the NMLS Mortgage Call Report. This Call Report data can be found on the NMLS web site and shows break downs by loan type, purpose, and channel per state and calendar quarter.

It is raining here in Georgia on New Year’s Day, so I decided to play with the NMLS call report data and see if I could find any interesting trends.


Mortgage Volume Trends

The first thing I did was take the NMLS Call Report data per business channel (broker, retail, and wholesale) and graph the volume per year. Here is the graph plotted out showing the trend lines over 4 years of NMLS Call report data per business channel. In all three channels, there was a dip in 2014 and then steady increases in the past two years.


Since today is 1/1/2017 and the 2016Q4 data is not yet available, I calculated a ratio to apply to the 3 quarters of data that we do have available in 2016 to come up with an estimated annual volume. I used the volume generated in 2015 divided by the volume generated in the first 3 quarters of 2015. This gave me a 1.293 factor that I used to gross up the 3 quarters of data I had for 2016. Also, taking into mind that home sales tend to slow down near the end of the year, I’m assuming 2016Q4 will resemble the activity in 2015Q4.


Mortgage Loan Originator License Trends

The second set of data I chose to plot was the number of MLO licenses applied for, approved, denied, withdrawn, revoked, surrendered, or terminated. Looking at the first three quarters of each year, there is a steady climb in new applicants with 20k more applied for and approved in 2016 (Q1-Q3) than in 2015 (Q1-Q3).

For this graph, I did not try to project or assume what would happen in 4th quarter of 2016. Instead, I took out the 4th quarter numbers for 2013-2016 and only compared data from Q1-Q3 for the four years. To simplify the graph, I combined all licenses that were denied, withdrawn, revoked or surrendered (“D/W/R/S”).

Using this data, I found:

  • There are 460,372 state-licensed individuals (as of 2016Q3),
  • As of the end of 2016Q3, there are 16,117 state-licensed companies (counting D/B/A’s individually) and 9,798 federally registered entities,
  • There were few states that had a decline in the number of state-licensed companies, and
  • Four states in 2016 had double-digit increases in mortgage state-licenses, which suggests they're hot housing markets: Nevada with 17% increase, Colorado at 12.3% increase, and Oregon and Kansas (Go Jayhawks!) both with 10% increase.

It will be interesting to see where the actual loan volume for 2016 lands compared to my estimates once 2016Q4 data is released and if these trends will continue into 2017.